West Coast road trip begins

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Sep 07, 2006

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

We spent ten days driving up the coast until we hit the Olympic Peninsula. For once in our lives I can honestly say we were in the right place at the right time. The rest of the country was experiencing a melting heat wave whilst we stuck to the the much cooler coast, with a brief,brave side trip inland.

Of course this being us the trip didn't quite go according to plan as I was first struck down by a horrible throat infection which meant I couldn't talk or eat fro three days ( yes phil was in Heaven!). Then I got food poisoning further up the coast and I don't need to tell you what happens then!

In between his turns as Nurse Betty Phil did manage to drive us along some stunningly gorgeous coastal scenery and we visited some amazing places.
One highlight was a visit to Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon. Yes, I know I am sadly predictable but in fact we didn't watch Shakespeare, we saw Cyrano de Bergerac instead and it was very funny.However there was a preponderance of elderly white besocked and trainered American tourists in the audience!

We also visited Mount St. Helens, a live volcano which had its last major eruption about 20 years ago. You can still see smoke creeping out of the crater and a 17 mile radius still shows where everything in the volcanoes path was just decimated. It was incredibly atmospheric although this was somewhat spoiled by Phil's Escape Drill which he repeated over and over again in order to ensure a quick get away should it be required! I'm not saying he has become nervous on our trip but he does always seem very prepared for any major catastrophes which may strike!

This part of the journey really felt like a road trip and to punctuate the hours in the car we started spotting RV's. ( Recreational Vehicles or better known to us as motorhomes but like no motorhome ever seen on u.k shores. These things are beasts!) Actually you couldn't miss them, we followed them everywhere; through groves of Giant Redwoods and along seal strewn shores. We could't believe their size. In Vietnam an extended family could happily have lived in one and still have room to spare! Our favourite however was an RV that was so big it actually had a truck rig to pull it and the driver couldn't have been a day under 75! I must confess I now have quite a hankering after one but every time we drive past a sales yard Phil speeds up! Once we get home I may do some investigating as I think this could be the future!
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