The Final Leg of the Epic Summer Road Trip

August 28th – 30th ~ Way too many miles of driving from Whidbey Island to Los Angeles

Crossing the Deception Pass Bridge, heading home

Well, they say, when it’s over, it’s over. And that pretty much summed up our final few days of an otherwise fantastic three-month road trip. 

Saying goodbye to family on Whidbey Island, we weighed our options of which route to take south. Still not quite filled up with my desire to see as many of our National Parks as possible, I navigated us toward Mount Ranier National Park.

A quiet, lush campsite just outside of the park allowed us a wonderful good sleep.

Camping near Mt Ranier National Park

Being surrounded by trees always seems to bring me a wonderful sense of peace.

Unfortunately the west was still very much ablaze with wildfires and the air quality was really poor. Visibility of what we came here to see was sadly just not happening.

Hmmm, I think Mt Ranier is somewhere over this way

Oh, well. It was hard to feel sorry for ourselves after having such an amazing adventure since leaving home three months earlier. Instead, we were simply sad for the many thousands of acres of trees and land that were being scorched, animal habitat lost, and the uprooting of those forced to evacuate.

Now this town has a catchy name 🙂

It was time to simply put the pedal to the metal and head for home. Curving back to Interstate 5, we followed it south. The smoky conditions only got worse, and continued to dog us all the way until we were almost back to Los Angeles.

I know that we will have a chance to return to this area some day to witness the natural beauty.

Our trip ended with more of a whimper than a bang. Long days of driving, overnighting in a Wal-Mart, catching a snooze at a rest stop. The many miles were filled with hours of talking about the trip, rehashing favorite moments, and sharing our hopes and dreams for the future. This was mixed with long moments of comfortable silence and internal pondering.

The trip was indeed epic in scope with the amount of time spent together in close quarters, thousands of miles traveled, wonders shared, parks explored, hikes and pictures taken, blog stories written, and memories made.

And, YES, we can’t wait to go again!

GRATITUDE MOMENT: After three months on the road, it was wonderful seeing our son and receiving a huge “welcome home” hug. As much as we enjoy our travels, there is always a tug to return to your point of origin, reconnect with your friends, touch the things you left behind, and go back to the known, comfort of home. We are blessed!

For those of you who have followed along with us on our travel journeys we extend our sincere thanks. All of you become an intricate part of our travels because having an “audience” to write to makes it even more fun, gives me an occasional nudge to get busy and forces us to pay more attention to details so that we can share.

COMING SOON: Our next trip is right around the corner. We are in the final planning stages of an adventure to New York City and a Fall Foliage Cruise. We hope you will join us!

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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44 Responses to The Final Leg of the Epic Summer Road Trip

  1. Wind Kisses says:

    I have loved our journey, but I have to say I always looked forward to your gratitude moment. That’s what is really about. Welcome home. See you amidst the fall foliage…Donna

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  2. sunnyharvy says:

    I hope there is some fall foliage left for you after these storms. Pretty wild here in Rhode Island this week! Still wondering about Maria’s path too…

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  3. Widdershins says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure with us 🙂 … on a sad note, the wildfires took out a good chunk of Waterton National Park, thankfully the Prince of Wales hotel got a bit of a fright, but nothing more. The visitors center wasn’t so lucky though. 😦

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  4. lulu says:

    Quite a summer you have had journeying to beautiful places and enjoying the wonder of nature.

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  5. Michael Alesko says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the photos and impressions of so many incredible places, many new to me. Bon Voyage for your fall sojourn.

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  6. What an exciting journey you’ve had! Epic indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John Love says:

    Welcome back to SoCal! My wife and I enjoy traveling with you! Pics are wonderful, your writing is descriptive, insightful, and thoughtful! It is a delight, I am so glad I found this blog several years ago, we have been all over the world, thanks to the two of you! At least Tim did not have to courageously immerse himself in foreign cuisine this trip, finding out the hard way whether the menu was good for him or not!

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    • HaHa, sadly though I still manage to poison him all by myself on occasion. Thankfully very rarely these days as being able to cook for ourselves in the RV was wonderful. We are so pleased that you and your wife continue to follow along with us. A very sincere THANK YOU!

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  8. Terry says:

    The end of trips usually are anti-climatic, as you wish to continue but feel the draw from that home base. Glad you had a great trip and hope you are planning the next.

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    • Thank you Terry. Just wrapping up our plans for our October trip to NYC and a Princess fall foliage cruise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Terry says:

        Very nice, I am still planning my Alaska trip in August but need to adventure before then. Maybe hit the Southwest National Parks for a 2 week trip first part of the year. Southern Utah here I come. Suggestions welcomed.

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      • We enjoyed seeing each of the big five in Utah. Really kicking myself for not diverting over to Monument on the way there. Try to squeeze in the Narrows and Horseshoe Bend if you have not already been there. We are contemplating a return to Alaska in the next year or two. Possible road trip and/or cruise. Talk about photo ops!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great journey, Joanne. I always enjoyed checking in when I wasn’t out on my own adventures, which was most of the time. There isn’t much in the way of Internet when you are backpacking. 🙂 You traveled to many of the places Peggy and I have visited in out extended trips. (Watch out, being out on the road can become addictive.) Good job! –Curt

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  10. Anabel Marsh says:

    It all sounded wonderful!

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  11. That last leg is always a challenge.When we took our (almost) cross-country trek last fall, we really tried to make the return trip as interesting and exciting as the trip out and we did a mighty fine job of it, for the most part. But when it came to the last couple of days, it was impossible to ignore that we were, in fact, just trying to get home. And then it’s all about the comfort of being in your own bed again, right?

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  12. Thanks for sharing your journey ~ I loved reading about your adventures!

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  13. wifsie says:

    I will definitely follow your adventures on the East coast.

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  14. Jill says:

    Loved following along with you both and looking forward to your next adventure.

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  15. Alice Gratias says:

    Welcome home.. Rod & I and other friends enjoyed your latest travel. Looking forward to New York

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mila says:

    It’s so amazing to be your “virtual companion” !!! Your letters are very much informative , writing style deserves prize, pictures are wonderful. Now it’s being some years that I am in a company of great, energetic, brave, adventurous people – both of you -Joanne and Tim.
    I have learned from you how to enjoy a moment and to appreciate each given day !!

    Thank you for sharing,

    Always you follower,
    Mila

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  17. Bravo! I have loved reading about your adventure.

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  18. Aunt Beulah says:

    I have enjoyed going along on this venture with you. You put me back in touch with places I have loved and introduced me to sites I’d like to see. Thank you. I’m looking forward to tagging along as you visit New York City and the fall foliage of the east coast.

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  19. mommermom says:

    What a fabulous Journey! I love visiting this fabulous country. We just got back from an 18 Day Road Trip and always something new and exciting to see.

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  20. Pingback: New York City ~ The Metropolitan Museum of Art | A Note From Abroad

  21. We, too, took a trip up north from Phoenix to Hillsboro, OR. I know what you mean by the sadness that f not being able to see what you came for. We experience haze at Mt Shast, Klamath Falls, Crater Lake and many areas in between. We hope to this trip again and see the beautiful area for what they really are.

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