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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    I had a look for the Alaskan Highway but could only find one that was built during the war but was only 1200 mile long I think. Where would you be driving for 12 hrs a day for a week. I might have been looking at a direct link to Chicago.
    John

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default The First Part

    Hi all.

    Just doing a bit of mental planning as I think of nothing else but getting back to the USA.I thought some waws a bit of a rush last time so going to take it easy and do some of the tourist stuff first before hitting the road.

    Working out flights etc and the cost of flights in and out of different cities seems costly compared to a return flight from LA. So what I was planning was to fly into LA and spend a few days with a small hire car before driving to Las Vegas and spending a few days there before dropping the hire car off and picking up the camper. I found last time we were paying around $100 a day camper hire while we were in a motel as well. It seemed a waste of money paying for both.
    Im not sure about rental charges one way to Las Vegas but I dont think it would be as high as camper hire. The other option would be to stay in a campground or RV PArk in Vegas, but I really liked staying in the Flamingo. Any advice on this would be appreciated.

    Back to the Trip. (around Early/Mid June)
    From Vegas we are thinking of

    Vegas to Death Valley to Yosemite NP

    Yosemite NP to San Francisco

    San francisco - Avenue of the Giants - Redding

    Redding to Mount Shasta - Klammath Falls to Crater Lake.

    Crater Lake - Diamond Lake - Bend then across to Mount Hood National Forest .

    From Mount Hood maybe to The Dalles then a overnight trip to Portland along the Columbia River Highway.
    This is the spot where I need a bit of direction.Is it worth going along the Columbia River Highway one direction and back along Lewis and Clark Highway.
    This area I would love to explore so any advice here would be helpful as I probably have myself going in the wrong direction.lol.

    I have seen some spectacular photos of the Columbia River Gorge and want to capture a few myself.
    Gettting from The Dalles to Mount Rainer It looks like trip up along 97 to Toppenfish and yakima and Snoqualmie National Forest. It all looks so beautiful and I want to travel ans many country back roads as possible. I dont like interstates.

    From Mount Rainer before going across to Olmpic National Park and the ferry from Port Angeles to Canada.

    My plan is to arrive at Calgary for the Stampede in 2013. If you think there should be other stops ets in this plan please add to list.

    Thanks in advance,

    John
    Last edited by john.waters; 07-12-2012 at 05:12 PM.

  3. #23

    Default

    You want to be sure and do the section designated as the Historic Columbia River Highway from I-84 Exit 22 to Exit 35. When we did it, we went to The Dalles on the Oregon side and then returned by kind of bouncing back and forth between the Washington side and the Oregon side.

    Here's an excerpt from our journal of the trip which may give you some ideas:

    Saturday, September 17, The Dalles – Had the comp breakfast at the Comfort Inn and headed for The Dalles via Oregon 18 and 22, I-5, I-205, Old US 30, I-84 and Old US 30 in to The Dalles. Oregon 22 pretty much follows the Willamette River through the Willamette Valley. First stop of the day was at a I-205 overlook at Oregon City. Here you get a good view of the Willamette Falls. Continued on to Troutdale where we stopped to eat at a McDonalds. In Troutdale, we picked up the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway which is also US 30. Stopped at the Crown Point Vista House where they have a nice visitor center. Views were good but spoiled somewhat by the rain that started almost the minute we left Troutdale. Continued on the Columbia Gorge Highway and stopped at several waterfall viewpoints including Latourell, Waukeena, Multnomah and Horsetail. Multnomah was especially nice with a very nice visitor center. Especially scenic was the stretch of road through Oneta Gorge. After the stretch of falls and the Oneta Gorge, you get back on I-84 for a while until again picking up the Gorge Highway again at Mosier. Between the two sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway, we got off I-84 at the Mitchell Point Viewpoint that affords some wonderful views of the river and the gorge. It was here that the original road had a series of tunnels with “windows” similar to the tunnels going in to Zion National Park. Sadly, they destroyed these tunnels when I-84 was built. It’s a shame because these tunnels were considered to be an example of engineering genius. From Mosier, you go over Rowena Crest, the most spectacular section of the Gorge Highway. The road climbs to the top of Rowena Crest and then descends through a series of switchbacks called “The Loops.” Continued on in to The Dalles, got checked in to Cousin’s Country Inn, relaxed for a bit and then had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Although the day was somewhat spoiled by rainy conditions, we saw some marvelous scenery and it was a pretty good day.

    Sunday, September 18, The Dalles – Went to 9:00 Mass at St. Peter’s and then returned to Cousin’s Restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast, we headed east on US 30 and crossed the Columbia on the US 197 bridge. Headed east on Washington 14 and found Stonehenge, a memorial to county residents killed in World War I. The monument is supposed to be a replica of England’s Stonehenge. Along the way, we stopped at the Celilo Falls Overlook. Before the construction of the Bonneville Dam, there were falls on the Columbia that were a valued salmon fishing site used by Indians. Here, you really get a feeling for the dryness of Washington and Oregon east of the Cascade Mountains. The mountains prevent the coastal rains from moving eastward and east of the mountains, it is dry as a bone and everything is shades of brown and yellow with the exception of a few fields and peach orchards which must be irrigated. In Washington, this dryness seems to stretch all the way across the eastern portion of the state. Leaving Stonehenge, we crossed back over the Columbia on the US 97 bridge and took I-84 to Cascade Locks. Here you can see the remains of the locks which allowed ships to pass the falls at Cascade Locks. Again, the Bonneville Dam eliminated the need for the locks and they are no longer in use. By the time we reached here, it was raining so we decided against any trip to Mount Hood. Drove on to the Corps Of Engineers’ Bonneville Dam Visitor Center. Looked around at the exhibits and watched salmon climbing the “fish ladder” which allows the salmon returning from the ocean to get upstream past the dam to their spawning sites. Took I-84 back to the Mitchell Point Overlook and stopped again because the weather was a little clearer than it was during our stop yesterday. Took I-84 to Mosier where we got off and stopped for some very good ice cream at Route 30 Roadside Refreshments and then repeated yesterday’s ride on the Historic Columbia River Highway over Rowena Crest. Arriving back in The Dalles, we kicked back for a while and then finished the day with dinner at Cousin’s Restaurant. This was another day where the weather left a little to be desired but didn’t really spoil the day.

    Monday, September 19, Newport – Had breakfast at Cousin’s Restaurant and got checked out ending a very enjoyable stay at this motel/restaurant. Took I-84 west to Hood River and then took Oregon 35 to Panorama Point Park. Here we had a wonderful view of Mount Hood. Had a nice visit with some folks from the Chicago area who said the Oregon Coast drive would get a lot better from Newport south. We later found they were right. Decided against the drive to Mount Hood after we heard there was some construction in the area. Instead, we crossed over the Hood River Toll Bridge to Washington, headed west on Washington 14 and took the Cook-Underwood scenic loop drive. Along the way, there was an overlook that afforded nice views of the river, the Hood River Bridge and Mount Hood. We were glad we decided against the drive to Mount Hood because in just the short time between Panorama Point and Cook-Underwood, it had started to cloud in. Continued west on Washington 14 with a stop at Spring Creek Hatchery where we had fun watching some wind surfers on the Columbia River. At Cascade Locks, we crossed back over the Columbia by way of the Bridge Of The Gods. Arriving in Cascade Locks, we were just in time to take a two-hour boat trip on the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. The trip goes west to the Bonneville Dam and then goes back upstream a few miles past Cascade Locks and then returns to Cascade Locks. It was an enjoyable trip but about twice as long as it needed to be. We would have been content to go to Bonneville and straight back to port. Along the way, we got a kick out of the Indian fishing camps along the river which were nothing more than a few boards nailed together and looking like they could fall in the river at any moment. Also enjoyed some views where you could see both I-84 and the old US 30 which is now called The Historic Columbia River Highway. Leaving Cascade Locks, we again took I-84 west to the Crown Point Vista House exit and revisited the House because it had been so rainy on our earlier stop. From Crown Point, we got back on I-84 and drove pretty much non-stop to Newport via I-84, I-205, I-5 and US 20 through Corvallis. Arrived in Newport about 7:15, found the Shiloh Inn, got checked in and then had a great dinner at a neat little restaurant, the Newport Café.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,255

    Default

    I just checked car rental rates using RTA's booking facility, and a one week rental from LAX in June 2013 (1-7) returning the car to LAS is about $180, not including fees and taxes. The drop fee is $105, and after all the rest of the fees and taxes the bottom line is $360. This would be a Chevy Aveo or similar from Enterprise. You may be able to find a better deal from an off-airport location.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

    Default British Columbia

    Quote Originally Posted by john.waters View Post
    My plan is to arrive at Calgary for the Stampede in 2013. If you think there should be other stops etc. in this plan please add to list.
    John, when you arrive in Canada, how long will you have to get to Calgary? If time permits, I would highly recommend taking the Sea to Sky Hwy through Squamish and Whistler to Lillooet and onto Hwy 97 at Cache Creek. Along the way you have, among others, the Garibaldi Prov. Park, where a not too long hike takes you to the waterfalls. Near Lillooet (a lovely little place with great camping) there are some glacial lakes with a hike to the upper lake and the glacier which feeds them.

    Then make your way onto Hwy 1, continuing through Kamloops, Revelstoke and Golden, as well as Lake Louise, to Calgary. Spectcular country. Get out a detailed map of British Columbia, and you will see what I mean. More lakes, parks and attractions than you could check out in a month.

    Lifey

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    John, when you arrive in Canada, how long will you have to get to Calgary? If time permits, I would highly recommend taking the Sea to Sky Hwy through Squamish and Whistler to Lillooet and onto Hwy 97 at Cache Creek. Along the way you have, among others, the Garibaldi Prov. Park, where a not too long hike takes you to the waterfalls. Near Lillooet (a lovely little place with great camping) there are some glacial lakes with a hike to the upper lake and the glacier which feeds them.

    Then make your way onto Hwy 1, continuing through Kamloops, Revelstoke and Golden, as well as Lake Louise, to Calgary. Spectcular country. Get out a detailed map of British Columbia, and you will see what I mean. More lakes, parks and attractions than you could check out in a month.

    Lifey
    Thanks Lifey. This is the sort of thing Im wanting to do. We have at least 2 weeks for Canada and Hoping to go to Whistler as well.
    I havent even looked into what we need to be able to cross the border to Canada. Do we need a visa or any special application.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

    Default Crossing into Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by john.waters View Post
    Do we need a visa or any special application.
    John, over the last three months, I have crossed the border into (and out of) Canada six times and all I have ever shown is my passport. I have never been asked for anything else.

    You will however have to make sure that you can take the vehicle you rent, across the border. Not all companies allow that.

    Lifey

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    John, over the last three months, I have crossed the border into (and out of) Canada six times and all I have ever shown is my passport. I have never been asked for anything else.

    You will however have to make sure that you can take the vehicle you rent, across the border. Not all companies allow that.

    Lifey
    Thanks again Lifey. Another thing to take of my list. I had better check with Escape Campers as its getting a long way from their depots.
    I think 2 weeks should be enough time in Canada as we might get back in at Niagra Falls if we get that far this time.

    John

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bonny Hills , Australia
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    I just checked car rental rates using RTA's booking facility, and a one week rental from LAX in June 2013 (1-7) returning the car to LAS is about $180, not including fees and taxes. The drop fee is $105, and after all the rest of the fees and taxes the bottom line is $360. This would be a Chevy Aveo or similar from Enterprise. You may be able to find a better deal from an off-airport location.
    Thanks for that,It certainly looks a better option than paying for both the camper and a motel. Id like to start the trio off with a bit of relaxation and touristy stuff.Then hit the road.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,255

    Default

    How many of you are there? I think something like an Aveo is going to be too cramped for more than 2 of you due to limited luggage space and rear seat legroom.

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