A road trip from San Francisco to Vancouver
After our cross-country rail journey in 2005 we returned to the USA in August 2007 ready for another journey. This time we planned to drive north from San Francisco through California, Oregon and Washington States and into Canada. After dropping off the car we planned to stay in Vancouver (YVR) for several days before flying back to San Francisco and home to London. We flew to the USA on British Airways.
We had a couple of days in San Francisco before our departure and we visited an old favourite restaurant of ours; the Swan Oyster depot for some delicious seafood.
We also visited the wonderful market at Embarcado. We were impressed by everything there but especially by the fruit. The abundance and quality of the fruit continued to impress us over the course of the next few days too.
Day 1 – 270 miles
We set off across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was doing its usual shy disappearing act in the San Francisco mist. We made our way up along the Pacific Coast Highway and stopped off at a winery in the Sonoma area for lunch.
We carried on north, turning off the main road and heading to meet the coast at Fort Bragg. We watched the famous “Skunk” train depart on its 40 mile journey through the redwoods to Willits.
We made our own stop in the giant redwoods national park and drove the rental Hyundai through one of them.
Our first overnight stop was at Eureka, a wonderful traditional seaside resort, almost 300 miles from San Francisco.
We found a restaurant for dinner in the centre and a motel just outside the town.
Day 2 – 365 miles
The next day we went inland again and crossed into Oregon.
We drove up to Crater Lake and marvelled at the amazing blue colour of the water
That evening we stayed in a motel just outside Bend. Bend was a bit of a “craft beer town” and it had a lovely atmosphere. We spent the evening eating and drinking the products of the local Deschutes Brewery
Day 3 – 246 miles
We headed back to the coast again passing through the outskirts of Portland as we did so.
We settled that night in another motel just outside the appropriately named town of “Seaside”.
Day 4 – 190 miles
The next morning we set off again and meandered up the coast towards Seattle.
We spent the afternoon at the fascinating Air and Space museum located just south of the city.
We found a motel in the centre, or just outside it, and spent the evening downtown.
Day 5 – 172 miles
We woke up late and headed to Pike Place Market for brunch.
Pike Place is one of the most famous and best stocked food markets anywhere in the USA. It is also the site of the very first Starbucks. The coffee shop is still in business now.
We found a place that did Russian-style Piroshki. We bought a few for lunch and they were delicious.
In the afternoon we headed to Everett to the north of the city for a tour of the Boeing aircraft plant. The whole thing was fascinating and we managed to see the prototype Boeing 787 in the hanger.
In the late afternoon we set off again in the car and made a little scenic detour; we boarded a car ferry and crossed to Whidbey island and then drove up the island for an hour so. We passed back onto the mainland near Mount Vernon and made it to the Canadian border by sunset.
It was almost 8pm when we finally made it to our friend’s flat in the vicinity of the University of British Colombia.
It may not look much on a map, but we had completed a journey of over 1200 miles.