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Old 11-28-2005, 08:32 AM   #1
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We are planning our first RV trip to
northern Calif. then up the coast
highway of Oregon and into Washington
state.

We would like suggestions on great places to
camp and not to miss sites on the way.

We have never been to Calif. or Oregon before.

We will be leaving from Kerrville, Texas
in March or Arpil.

Thanks for the help.

Billie & Vernon
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15
We are planning our first RV trip to
northern Calif. then up the coast
highway of Oregon and into Washington
state.

We would like suggestions on great places to
camp and not to miss sites on the way.

We have never been to Calif. or Oregon before.

We will be leaving from Kerrville, Texas
in March or Arpil.

Thanks for the help.

Billie & Vernon
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:40 AM   #3
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You can order state tourist packages from the web. Searh on state and tourist or some similar words.

You can then see what interests you have. It may determine where you enter and leve each state. For example....

http://www.traveloregon.com/index.cfm
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Old 11-28-2005, 05:40 PM   #4
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If you are going across I-10 and 8 to California, you can start your California sight seeing in San Diego, they have the best zoo on west coast, lots of navy stuff there, Balboa park where the zoo is also has a number of museams also. Up the coast some very nice beaches and a few state parks where you can dry camp right at the beach. Of course the normal things in LA area are Disneyland and Universal studios but the Queen Mary is also interesting over in Long Beach.

Take 101 north out of LA up the coast, if you are not in much of a hurry, take I-10 west to Santa Monica where it runs into the coast highway, Ca. highway 1 which will take you right through Malibu and past all the beaches on the way to the Ventura area where youi can join up with 101 again. Just north of Ventura is Santa Barbara, a neat down town area with lots of small shops and a beautiful beach.

Back onto 101 north and along the coast passing lots of senic areas on the way to the San Francisco area and the Golden Gate bridge, Fishermans Wharf, the Cable Cars and lots more.

Remember the speed limit in California for any vehicle that is towing something is 55 mph. It is not always enforced strictly but it only takes one CHP officer with ticket book in hand to ruin your whole day, hold it down, let somebody else get the speeding tickets.

Terry
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Old 11-29-2005, 05:20 AM   #5
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We've done that segment are will be doing it again next summer. The biggest difference is that we leave from WI instead of TX. There is so much to do out there that we've taken to splitting our trips. We'll spend 27-28 days on the road and we'll do Washington with a touch of Oregon one year and then northern CA with Oregon the next year. If you have 5-6 weeks you can do it all. If you have less time, the biggest problem is deciding what to cut out.

In the past we've gone into CA via Donner Pass and Sacramento, then heading north. This year we plan on entering CA from Reno and heading north on US-395 to Susanville to save some time and skip the heavier traffic. From there we'll head across to Eureka on the coast.

The redwoods area gets really nice, they begin just south of Eureka. We chose to base out of Eureka, then take the toad south (and north) to explore these areas. After that the drive up US-101 to Crescent City (the place that got leveled by a Tsunami during the 1964 Alaska Earthquake) is also nice and we spend a few days base camping in Crescent City.

Leaving Crescent City you have two options. You can head inland to Crater Lake or go north up the Oregon coastline. Crater Lake is best seen later in the year, July or August. They get plenty of snow up there and the loop road wasn't fully open yet the end of June last time we were there. Crater Lake is a very deep brilliant blue lake that's in the crater of an extinct volcano. After Crater Lake be sure to return to the Oregon coastline at Brookings.

The Oregon coastline is the best of all the coastlines. There are numerous sea mounts and geographical features along this area that are truly amazing. Harris Beach state park in Brookings is a great place to begin and it ends up at Cannon Beach and is filled with lots of great scenery in between. The Oregon Sand Dunes (you can rent dune buggies) are found around Florence, the Blimp Hangar and cheese factory at Tillamook, Sea Lion Caves at Florence and a zillion light houses dot the coastline - most notably Hecta Head at Florence. Lewis and Clark stayed at Astoria at Fort Clatsop as a natonal park, which is recreated and interesting if you're into history.

If you have even more time you can head east towards Portland. Just south of Portland, at McMinnville, is the Evergreen Aviation museum, which is the home of Howard Hughes' huge Spruce Goose that was supposed to ferry troops across the Atlantic in WWII. The Columbia River gorge features many waterfalls and interesting hikes, most notably Multnomah Falls.

Heading across the Columbia on I-5 you get into Washington. Mount St. Helens is a must see. There is an excellent visitor center at Johnson Ridge. Be sure to see the movie (the screen opens up at the end with a view right into the lateral blast crater). You take the road into the area from Castle Rock, on I-5. After MSH, we prefer to not take I-5 up to the Seattle area. Instead, we head over to Aberdeen and pick up the coastline starting at Queets or Kaloloch. There is a great forest service campground right on the beach just south of Kalaloch Lodge that has awesome sunsets and you can hike down the beach to stands of redwood burl and bald eagle nests.

The WA coastline isn't as awesome as Oregon but it takes you to some pretty neat places. You can take the spur into the Hoh Rain Forest portion of Olympic Nat'l Park (just south of Forks). If time permits, you can also go to the most northwesternest point in the continental US - Cape Flattery. Here you'll see some intersting cliffs andcoastline on the Makah Indian Reservation. Later on continue around Olympic Nat'l Park on US-101 past Crescent Lake and into Port Townsend. If you stay in Port Townsend I'd recommend Fort Worden State Park. It's an old coastal artillery fort where you can camp right on the beach and go explore the old gun emplacements. It's very accessible to downtown Port Townsend, which is a museum of Victorian architecture and a very interesting place. Basing out of PT, I'd be sure to tour the Hurricane Ridge and Sol Duc Falls areas of Olympic Nat'l Park. Also the Dungeness spit and Olympic Game Farm in Sequim.

Leaving Port Townsend, take the ferry across to Keystone on Whidbey Island and drive up through Deception Pass to Anacortes. Base out of Anacortes (we stay at Fidalgo Bay RV Resort) and be sure to take the Island Adventures whale watch cruise to see the Orcas frolic around in the Straits of San Juan., Then take the ferry over to San Juan Island and day trip the island and Friday Harbor. You can also take the toad down to Seattle and see Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Underground Seattle, etc.

Anyway, these are some of the things I'd recommend seeing. I've posted a number of these photos in the IRV2 photo section, if your interested. The biggest problem is finding enough time to do it all. I hope you have a digital camera because you'll go broke buying film otherwise. There's some great scenery up there and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Like the knight says - "you have chosen wisely".
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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When you go into each state stop at their tourist (welcome) center and pick up the things they have there as well as maps. I learned a lot from these brochures, etc. Some states have more info than others but worth the stop.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:23 AM   #7
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We are members of AAA. While I am not 100% happy with AAA, I love their tourbooks and campbooks. They are free for members and you get just the ones for the states you are going through. I always keep a current one for my home state as well. They have info on lots of attractions along with the price and whether you get a AAA discount. We especially like finding all of the free attractions they list or the ones for around $1/person. They have turned out to be the best ones. You can even get a trip tik which is a section by section map of where you are going with details such as time and distance and which exits have which services. You tell them, Hey, I am leaving TX and want to head to CA and then OR, and then WA. You can give them cities, highways, etc and tell them if you want toll roads or back roads. Also tell them how big your rig is and they will map the best route for you. I then take my trip tik and look up all of the towns in my tourbook. I then highlight all of the things we may want to see. Of course there are always the stops to see what a billboard mentions. AAA is about $47/yr. They also have an RV membership that includes towing of your rig if you need it. We have used AAA to get us into locked vehicles, jump starts, change tires, and bring gas when you don't realize that E means empty and not ENOUGH. LOL!

I don't think you get as many discounts as AAA leads you to believe, but just the free books and maps are plenty enough to make up the fee.

Oh, and the http://www.aaa.com also lists road trips with points of interest. I plan on taking one in the NC area this summer. You can choose by area, length of trip, etc.

I may not have as much info as the others (btw great info, I think I will save it for the time we hit the west coast), but I hope I have helped at least a little.
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