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Old 04-19-2014, 09:48 AM   #31
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

If you decide on the Bend-Portland routing, consider stopping at Madras to go rafting on the Deschutes for a day.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:13 PM   #32
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

I've always wanted to check out the Cowboy Dinner Tree that Woody (woodbee) posted about.


I still haven't had the chance to visit Oregon. I benchmarked the America's Scenic Byways site on my PC for a future visit.
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/SCENICBY ... guide.aspx
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:45 PM   #33
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

The Oregon byways are great. Have been on the Journey Through Time and several others. Some have incredibly long steep hills so make sure your breaks and cooling systems are in good shape. Eastern Oregon is anything but flat. Just read any book about the Oregon Trail and coming through the Blue Mountains.

If you look at a map where I84 cuts through the Blues east of Pendleton you will see a series of State Parks fairly close together. They are the sites that the pioneers stayed while trying to get through he Blues. We stayed at one park that was sandwiched between a river and the freeway. Doesn't sound like much until you read the interpretive information. It was the same location which the pioneers used after spending the day lowering the wagons by rope down a hill.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:43 PM   #34
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

Lots of good advice, especially 50 instead of 80. Especially in the summer; 50 goes high more frequently and hence has nicer camping. A bit longer but it seems way shorter. 70 out of Moab is amazing, with lots of boondocking and camping. 80, not so much.

For California, be aware anything on the coast is gonna be booked in the summer. Even midweek can be tough near the Bay Area.

In addition to the East Bay Parks, which was mentioned, try Mount Diablo State Park. Very nice camping, and a short drive to BART for a trip to the city. Dillon Beach, north of SF, is a private campground that is too expensive but hey might have spots.

Be aware that if you get just outside Sacto it's super congested bumper to bumper traffic off and on all the way to SF; people are commuting all those routes and from almost that far away into the city. You could spend hours just getting from Davis to the city. And then an hour or two just getting out. Bottom line: visit on a weekend. If you come in 80 (50 merges with 80, so you will) Mt. Diablo is only 30 minutes or so off the route into SF via 680/24 (about the same distance as 80). If it's a weekend you get up early, drive into the city and hang, then out over 101 north.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:50 PM   #35
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

Your welcome to overnight at my place in Denver on the way thru. If the timing works I could maybe caravan up to Moab with ya.

-P
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:07 AM   #36
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

Rob, luckily current plans put us coming in to San Fran on a Saturday, so looks like that might work out from a traffic standpoint. Whew, I hate traffic. I want to sightsee there but it will be pretty abbreviated, not at all the focus of our trip. The quieter places are much more why we are going. I hope maybe we can check out Alcatraz, walk around the wharf, ride a trolly and shop a bit and move on.
We aren't going to nearly try to take in all of San Francisco in a day and a half.

Yoda, I appreciate the offer but I have family in Co. Springs we will be staying with. Our kids don't get to see their only cousin there very often so we always try to maximize our time there. For this trip it will only be 2 nights/1 day though. Gotta keep rollin' to fit all of this in. We'll be keeping in touch where there is wifi/cell signal so if you are headed to Moab perhaps we could still meet up, but we'll be headed that way on a Monday.

To any of you PNW residents, how bad are the bugs and humidity going to be in Northern Cali/Oregon in late June/early July? I'm not sure if mosquitos are a big deal there. Of all of the places we've traveled, the only place where I remember any bugs like here at home was in Glacier, so we'll be prepared for that, but not sure about the PNW. As far as doing Moab etc. in the middle of summer, that doesn't bother us a bit. There is so much less humidity where we have been out west, the heat doesn't really even bother us. The only place I remember being miserable was Vegas and Death Valley in June.

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:59 AM   #37
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

sounds like a great trip, and lots of good advice.
Moab:check out Shafer trail, hooks up with white rim at a point before going up and out the switchbacks, white rim is way too big to do in a day, its over 90 mi, most people take 2, hence the camping spots. My advice, go check out the view from the rim in the park overlooking the valley and white rim trail. Also check out onion creek(kids can cool off!), great spots to camp if you can nab a spot, only 9 or so, and fisher towers east of moab off 128, great scenery, easy routes. Was just there this past weekend and ran top of the world trail(moderate), got late, turned around mid way before the more difficult 2nd half, was still pretty challenging. Oh ya, and eat at my buddy's place, Milts, in town. pick up the Wells Moab 4-wheel drive trails book.
Yes, take 50 instead of 80, much more interesting.
SF-honestly, for me, not a kind of quick stop type of city, difficult to get around, very busy, hard to park, lots of traffic! more of a destination kind of place, lots of areas to explore. Heading north out of the city take 1 along the coast that hooks back up with 101, Coastal redwoods are amazing, not to be missed, check out the lighthouses, dunes too. lots of state parks.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:07 PM   #38
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

We don't have southern style humidity up here even in summer. Northern California will be warm to hot and dry. If you are on the coast in Oregon or Washington be prepared for rain and cool weather.

Mosquitos won't bother you during the day but can come at during dusk and at night if you are camped around standing water. If you are camped in the woods you may encounter black flies or deer flies that bite. You will want to carry bug spray but will probably find the bugs aren't bad compared to what you have at home.

You may want to check out the Ape Caves in Southern Washington. They are lava tubes on the side of Mt St. Helens that you can hike through. There are two different ones the longest is about a mile. There are tons of campsites both developed and undeveloped in the areas and the Mt. St. Helens visitor center is very cool.

If you get to Northern Washington the drive across HWY 20 (North Cascade Highway is spectacular and well worth doing. Also Mt. Rainier national park is beautiful and there is lots of camping both developed and undeveloped in the national forest around the park.

Some of my favorite camping in the NW is north or Detroit Oregon in the Cascades. If you are interested I am happy to share.

If you need anything while you are I the Seattle area feel free to reach out to me.

Cheers,
John
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:15 PM   #39
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

As John said, fairly low on the west side of he Cascades and almost non existent on the east side.

The west side of the Cascades could be anywhere between 90 and 60 that time of year. The east side will be 90 to 75ish. The coast? It can be in the 50s or 75ish on the sand and in the 80s just a short distance inland.

You may get afternoon thunder storms on the east side almond the Cascades.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:04 AM   #40
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Re: PNW Summer 2014 trip, CG/boondock advice needed

Ref, thanks for the Moab advice! I know the White Rim trail is too long for us and too late to get a camping reservation too. We thought we might just do an out and back there. Last summer we drove all around the overlooks, looking down at the trail and said WE'VE GOT TO get on that trail soon! Anyway, I know there are many and appreciate the advice.
As for San Fran, we'll be traveling through so we'll see and do what we can. I've been and would probably skip it, but I want the kids to at least be able to say they've been and seen a little of it. We will rarely get that far West and I hate to fly anymore.

John, thanks for the tips, I'll be in touch!

Larrie, thanks again. More and more, Oregon sounds like paradise. We know the coastal temps will be cool and it rains a lot, but the general lack of humidity I'm hearing about sounds awesome. I can't wait to get out there.

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