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Old 07-02-2015, 08:47 PM   #41
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Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-July

Wed-Thursday, July 1-2

Kicking around Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel.

If you ever find yourself in Monterey, rent a bike and ride along the coast through Asilomar State Beach - even if you aren't that into bike riding you'll love it. One of the prettiest bike rides anywhere. We've rented bikes in previous years to ride it, but it was nice to have our own bikes with us this time.

I think the van looked good parked overlooking the Pacific. Saw a guy loading his surfboard into a white Sprinter SMB with PH, too.

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Old 07-02-2015, 10:00 PM   #42
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

Looks like that kid has been following you everywhere... haven't been able to shake him?
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:59 PM   #43
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Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-July

And the woman, too. I don't get it. I keep trying to leave them at truck and rest stops but somehow they find their way back into the van.
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #44
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

Current, updated itinerary:

Leave Carmel Sunday, drive to near Eureka, Calif.
Most of next week we'll be traveling the Oregon and Washington coasts, ending up in Seattle to visit some friends
Then east to Yellowstone for a few days, probably over the weekend. From there we'll stop at Little Bighorn Battlefield.
Through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the UP. Stop for a day at Mackinac Island in Michigan, then home to Pennsylvania via Canada and Niagra Falls.

We'll have a few long transit days in there, mainly between Seattle and Yellowstone and again from Montana to Wisconsin. We prefer to spend blocks of time in one area and make up the time in the occasional long/very long day.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:49 PM   #45
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

Great report. I especially appreciate seeing the people that go with the van
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:33 AM   #46
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

We've been busy on the road and I've neglected the thread. Currently camped just outside West Yellowstone after a 750-mile drive today from Tacoma. Plan to spend the weekend in the park if we can find a campsite or lodge room. Mainly interested in animal viewing so we'll hang mostly in Lamar and Hayden valleys.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:56 PM   #47
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

Friday-Saturday July 3-4

Two last days with family in Carmel. Enjoyed a nice bike ride to and into Point Lobos State Park, which was packed due to the holiday weekend. Was nice to be able to bike right by the long line of cars and not to have to pay the $10 parking fee!

If you find yourself in the Monterey area on July 4th, they have a nice little parade downtown in the morning. Also, the fire department had a really good all you can eat pancake breakfast for $10/person.


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Old 07-11-2015, 08:07 PM   #48
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

Sunday, July 5

Well, after a week of sloth in Carmel it was time to get back to the business of road tripping! We set the alarm early and were on the road by 7:30 with a destination of Eureka on the Northern California coast. A long day of driving, but it went by quickly.


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We made a brief stop before leaving the Monterey Bay Area at Moss Landing, where we have kayaked several times previously. We wanted to see some sea otters and were not disappointed. This is a really nice area to paddle, with rentals available for use on Elkhorn Slough.
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While driving north we briefly stopped in Petaluma, and were surprised by chickens wandering around free range outside the drug store!
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We wimped out on our planned night of camping and grabbed a Quality Inn in town. We also stopped in Arcata and wandered around a bit, soaking in the hippie college student vibe and buying some used books. My wife was excited to see an old Toyota Chinook poptop camper like her family had when she was a kid!
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:29 AM   #49
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Re: Westward ho! Pennsylvania to California and back June-Ju

We made it back in one piece and with no additional van drama, other than a flat tire in Michigan due to a bad valve stem. I'll try to update the thread with more pics and stuff over the next week or so when I get caught up with home and work.

Below is the rough map of our route. We drove 8,600 miles in 30 days, and visited 21 states. All in all a very good trip! The main purpose was to expose our 10-year-old son to a wide slice of the USA, and we definitely succeeded in that. With this trip, coupled with our other trip two years ago, he's now been to 42 of the 50 states.

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