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