Day 21 – 3 Weeks on the Road

It’s crazy to think that we’ve been on the road for 3 entire weeks, as of today. So far we’ve travelled about 9,000 km and by the time we make it home we should be close to 10,000 km.

We left the Pendleton KOA just after 9am and we were headed for Grand Mound, Washington. We planned to wrap up our trip with a night at the Great Wolf Lodge.

As we left Pendleton, we had crazy headwinds and lots of clouds but as we carried on towards Portland, the clouds burned off but the wind intensified

We drove along the Columbia River and noticed the incredible rock formations along the river; Jon and I pointed them out to the boys as looking fascinating and wondering what they were.

Jude pipes up from the back seat and nonchalantly says, “Oh that’s basalt.”

What??? So I google and sure enough the Columbia River Basalt Group is what we were looking at. Basalt is a dark, fine-grained volcanic rock that sometimes displays a columnar structure. (According to Wikipedia)

How did Jude know that?


Apparently, Basalt is a type of rock found in more than one game that he plays. It’s been incredible to have this time together. There is so much that both boys have shared that I had no idea that they knew and lots of the information is stuff that I didn’t even know.

One of the sights I have loved seeing is the graffiti on the different train cars. We saw a surprising number of trains on our travels. I took these two photos yesterday but these are not even remotely the most complicated nor the most colourful tags we saw. There are some incredibly talented artists out there playing with shapes and colours in stunning ways.

We made it to the Great Wolf Lodge around 3:30pm and were able to check in a little early as our room was ready. The boys were thrilled to have a real bed, decent wifi and to go crashing in the wave pool. I only got 2 photos of our time in water park. We were just too busy having fun.

Jon and Siah went on a water slide that free fall dropped them down a chute; and they said it was AWESOME!

This was a great ending to a fabulous trip. We have one more day of driving to get home. It’s exciting and sad that our trip is over. I kind of love the duality of life. That we can hold space for conflicting emotions and that it’s okay to be both happy and sad in regard to the same event.

Day 20 – Utah, Idaho and Oregon

We’ve started retracing our steps heading back home. The plan today was to go from Snowville, Utah to Pendleton, Oregon.

It’s a 6.5 hour trip BUT…we get to cross a time zone so we gain an hour. It’s much nicer going this way because losing an hour sucks. Although honestly, by 9pm we were tired because it would have been 10pm. Or maybe it’s just exhausting navigating 4 people and their feelings and emotions inside of a truck and trailer for 3 weeks.

I was up by 7:30am and made coffee and set the trailer straight. I actually LOVE the simplicity and straightforwardness of trailer living. Everything has a place. You only have what you need. You use something, you put it back in its place so it’s easy to find when you need it next. It’s easier to do that on a small scale. I need to find a way to scale that for our house. I do have lots of things set up like that but it’s harder to stay on top of it when it’s a larger home and there are more people involved.

We got on the road just after 10am. The boys are ready to go home. They miss good internet and the comfort of their own bedrooms. First world problems.

We stopped for gas at a station in Sublett called “Middle of Nowhere” and they had a pen on the property with goats and alpacas and donkeys. They were adorable. It was a nice surprise and opportunity to stretch our legs and see cute animals.

We carried on driving through Idaho. We had the most fabulous tailwinds and just cruised our way through Idaho toward Oregon.

Between navigating Google Maps (like a boss), planning our routes, booking RV sites, writing blog posts and looking up interesting facts of information about our travels; I have also knit or crochet 5 dishcloths. I’ve even tried patterns that I’ve never made before. Crazy, right?

We’ve also listened to a variety of podcasts while on the road. From murder mysteries, to unsolved mysteries, medical mysteries, stand up comedy, talk shows and even the above one about women of the Wild West. It’s been an eclectic mix interspersed with current pop hits, country music, classic rock and our favourite, radio roulette. You just keep hitting the button until something comes on clear.

The weather has been pretty good for us but we can definitely tell that we are getting closer to the Pacific Northwest. It’s colder and wetter and there’s a whole lot more evergreens than we have seen. The skies have been cloudy and stormy looking for most of today. Still beautiful in their moody brooding way though.

Siah exclaimed, “Well, this looks familiar.” as we approached Pendleton. He didn’t mean the city but the landscape as we were passing through forests of evergreens interspersed with packs of snow on the ground. It definitely looks like home.

We pulled into the Pendleton KOA around 5:30pm and off towards the Blue Mountains a storm was looming. We even got a storm warning on the weather app. There was a gorgeous double rainbow that Jon called us outside to see.

We ordered pizza delivery to our campsite – how fun is that – and even watched a few shows that we had previously downloaded. We hunkered in expecting the storm to blow through overnight but it, thankfully, missed us.

It was a quiet night and we only have a few more days ‘till we’re home. This time has been such a gift and we have so many incredible memories that we will treasure for a lifetime. I’m so grateful that we were able to do this.

Day 3 – Idaho

We woke up in Pendleton, OR; had breakfast, packed away the beds and Jon washed a few dishes before we hit the road.

We are getting pretty efficient at packing up and hitching up the trailer. We got on the road around 10:30am and headed towards Idaho.

Day 3

There has definitely been a learning curve to this whole RVing adventure. We encountered massive headwinds which drastically reduced our fuel economy. As we passed Baker City, we looked at our fuel and thought, we can totally make it to the next gas stop. Ha ha ha

Jon was white knuckling it as we swerved all over the highway. The wind was brutal and had massive gusts of crosswinds. We watched the gas gauge drop faster than the Hellevator on a summer day at the PNE. We cheered as we saw a huge GAS sign off the highway. We took the exit, pulled under the overpass and searched for the gas station.

Nothing! There was no gas station in sight. We saw a road crew truck and asked where the nearest gas was and he said it was either back at Baker City or possibly at Huntington.

We got back on the highway and Jude pulled out his phone and said there was a gas station at Huntington. Siah reached over and hugged Jude for finding the gas station. It was an epic moment of family bonding and panic.

Based on the info from Jon’s truck we might make it or we might need to park on the side of the road and unhook and just drive the truck in to get gas…..or the third option was to just drive as far as we could and hoof it maybe 2 kms to the gas station.

We had options. It was a glorious stomach clenching, breath holding 15 minutes. And the worst was when the truck stopped counting the kilometres left and just said low gas.

As we rounded the final corner into Huntington and saw the little old gas station with its one pump – but 4 Tesla charging stations? – we cheered, breathed a sign of relief and then all three of the guys hoped that it had enough for us to fill up.

We filled up, used the restroom, grabbed some food from the trailer and started the final leg into Idaho.

As an FYI, Jons truck holds 25 gallons and he filled it with 24.2 gallons. That’s closer than we’d ever like to get again.

Note to self, make sure you know where the gas stations are on the trip. And fill up earlier than necessary.

We made it into Idaho and hit 1000kms travelled. Pretty exciting, eh?

I am LOVING the scenery. The rolling hills, the blue skies , the open spaces. It’s so beautiful.

We made it to Twin Falls and had reserved a spot at Rock Creek RV Park. The boys said this was their favorite spot so far. It was less RV park and more parking lot with power but there was grass and trees and pathways and a tiny river and it was in a little canyon in the middle of town surrounded by rocky hills that Siah climbed. We got unhitched and plugged into power but there was no running water or Sani dump to connect to.

After dinner we went for a walk. That’s a weird aspect of travelling. I’m used to getting in 10,000 steps or more per day and I’d be surprised if I hit 4000, even with our walk.

We’ve seen a few tumbleweeds as we drove and Jude was excited to find one in the campsite. It was big and prickly and SO light.

It started to get cold so we headed back to the trailer, played a few games, made oven s’mores and got ready for bed.

The boys have always surprised me with how well they travel, given how much they seem to crave routine and familiarity. Jon has been a rock star of dependability and strength and it’s been a great couple of days. I’m looking forward to the rest of our adventure. We are aiming for Utah tomorrow. Woot!

Day 2 – Oregon

We headed southeast through Washington aiming for Oregon.

We drove up and over the Snoqualmie Pass. It was gorgeous and cold. There was SO MUCH SNOW.

We stopped and grabbed a quick bite to eat and shook out our legs a little before carrying on.

We needed gas and came across this fruit and antique mall that was right beside a gas station and while Jon and Jude filled the truck; Siah and I ran through all three floors in a time that would have made Grandma Rathjen proud.

It was huge and filled with amazing treasures. You could have easily spent hours looking through it all.

Dad, you would have LOVED looking through it all!

Siah particularly liked the jewelry and he’s pretty sure he needs a cowboy hat to go with his black trench coat.

Seriously! 3 floors of wonder and treasure. Amazing. We boogied down the amazing stairway and flew across the parking lot just as Jon was getting back into the truck.

As we got closer to Oregon, you notice the lack of evergreens as the land flattens out to more rolling hills and flat land.

I happened to be looking at Google Maps as we approached Oregon and was warmly welcomed by this little pop up. We made it to Pendleton, Oregon and had booked a reservation at an RV site at a KOA Campground. We pulled in, hooked up and the boys immediate jumped on the internet to “relax”. Ha ha!

Our site backed onto a gorgeous view of the Blue Mountains and after a late dinner, we shut it all down and headed to bed.

Everyone is still mostly happy and happy to be on this epic road trip; but there’s still time for that to change, eh?

Road Trip

Well, when adventure calls…….you answer?

We have talked about doing a road trip for a while and in the last week, we managed to pull it all together and we are on the road.

We bought a trailer on Monday, packed like coked out squirrels on Tuesday and actually managed to get on the road around 5pm. We had booked a space in Birch Bay for our first night and wonder of all wonders, we managed to arrive around 7pm which is when I had guesstimated that we’d show up. We unhooked, set up and settled in for the night.

The boys were in bed and down for the count before 9pm. Which, if I’m being honest, freaked me out a little because they are both night owls

Jude drew a mushroom – which was the daily prompt. I started and gave up because I was also too tired. Jon and I read for a bit before turning the light out.

Our mattress is spectacular and by spectacular, I mean that even with 2 fluffy blankets under the fitted sheet you can still feel the springs. I’m thinking we will probably need a mattress topper of some sort. It was an experience, that’s for sure!

Jude was awake for the day at 5am. The rest of us started the day around 7:30am.

Jon made our first pot of percolator coffee and it was amazing! There was a quick game of Spot it! to start the day and then we packed up and headed into Bellingham.

We stopped at T-Mobile and grabbed new SIM cards for the month and now we are headed to Oregon.