2014 Pacific Northwest

Gaidus Family and Celeste at Smith RockGaidus Family and Celeste at Smith RockMore and more, our “family” vacations have become oriented around rock climbing destinations, and they will probably continue to do so as long as “Old Man Herb” (as the boys affectionately refer to their dad) can continue to show them some impressive moves on the rock. Retirement communities will have to wait a wee bit longer, because he definitely has still got it.

This year there was a lively discussion as to what destination made the most sense: Joshua Tree in Southern California or Smith Rock in Bend, Oregon. I originally was leaning towards Joshua Tree because we had never been there, but Tommy sensibly redirected our focus to Bend for several very good reasons: logistics of getting there, climate (Joshua Tree could be over 100 degrees this time of year), and type of rock climbing (Smith Rock had many more sport climbing routes, which is what they were looking for).

So Bend it was, and now all we had to do was implement. Herb and I would drive the motorhome up from Petaluma, exploring various places along the way – Castle Crags State Park, Lake Siskiyou, Mount Shasta, etc. – and the boys and Celeste would meet us in Bend for a long Memorial Day Weekend.

Afterwards, Celeste would fly back to work and the four of us would drive together up to Seattle, via the scenic Columbia River Gorge, and spend some time on Tommy’s home turf.

Then it would be back to work for the boys, leaving Herb and I another week to wander back down I5 to San Francisco, exploring along the way. Some stops we had in mind were Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and rafting the Rogue River in southern Oregon.

However, things did not go quite as planned. On the morning we were scheduled to leave Seattle, I received the call I had been dreading – my 94-year-old Mom (with Alzheimer’s) had taken a serious turn for the worse and was not expected to last through the week. Spoiler Alert – she rallied and is just fine, but not until after we canceled my birthday celebration in San Francisco for the following weekend, changed our flights, and rushed back home. When I arrived, she actually greeted me with, “Oh hi. What are you doing here? Did you come to see me?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think the little drama queen just missed me.

You can download a detailed pdf Road Trip Travel Itinerary or zipped Microsoft Streets and Trips Travel Road Map file for this trip using the links shown below.

File DownloadsSize
Cross_Country_2014A_Itinerary.pdf253.51 KB
Cross_Country_2014A.zip9.74 KB