At the time of our last update on 15 February 2017 we were in Sorrento, British Columbia, CANADA. We are now in Oregon City, near Portland, Oregon, USA.
Over the last month we have been on the move again, interspersing more than 25 hours travelling time with attempts at Nordic skiing, eating pancakes, cooking and eating emu and elk, seeing endless Rocky Mountains………and more mountains………..and yet more mountains……and more Rocky Mountains. We became a little tired of mountains, spoilt though we are, and amazing though they are! We got over that once we had a change for a few days though.
Country Borders Crossed: 1 [Canada to USA]
State Lines Crossed: 2 [Montana to Idaho to Oregon]
Time Changes: 3 [backwards and forwards by an hour each time]
Pancakes eaten: 4 [and 1 failed attempt in a place called “The Pancake House”]
Route travelled: Sorrento, BC, Canada to Oregon City, near Portland, USA.
RV Parks/Campgrounds: 10
Hotels: 3 [near Waterton Lakes, Whitefish and Missoula – due to a lack of camping opportunities at these places and relief from eeking out the water]
Bald eagles seen: 7
Mountains admired: Oh, millions! From all angles! With snow, without snow, with snow again, and finally in the rain!
Dogs walked [since Christmas]: 5
Places visited in Canada [briefly]: Sicamous, Banff, Bragg Creek, Mountain View and Waterton lakes Park [all British Columbia and Alberta].
Places visited in USA [briefly]: Whitefish, Missoula, McCall, Emigrant Springs State Park, White Salmon [all Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon].
Main features of this period:
Mountains, snow, cross country skiing, water [a lack of it followed by a spillage in the truck], being back in the truck after a lot of house sitting, more quiet time alone in snowy wintry camps, bald eagles, moving between pacific time to mountain time as we travelled.
We travelled from Sorrento to Rogers Pass where we changed from Pacific Time to Mountain Time.
At Lolo Hot Springs, Montana as we entered Idaho and changed back from Mountain Time to Pacific Time.
We stayed at Bear Den RV Park, Grangeville, Idaho before travelling further on through Riggins, where we changed back again from Pacific Time to Mountain Time.
It got a little confusing!
We left our house sit in Sorrento, struggled with a few camp sites that were unappealing, tramped about in ice and slush, and fought with not being able to get water. We finally bought water then had a spillage in the truck as our water carrier cracked and broke. Luckily we arrived at the Super 8, Missoula and used their hotel laundry to wash our sodden rugs!
We stopped at Banff for a few days, saw ice sculptures at Lake Louise, looked at frozen waterfalls, did scenic drives, crossed the border at Carway, Alberta and had a go at Nordic skiing at Whitefish and again at McCall. We drove in and out of snow, through Hell’s Canyon and into Oregon, where we watched bald eagles fishing and visited the Bonneville Dam and Multnomah Falls in the rain. It is still winter and many things are still shut but we were pleased to be able to visit here.
We have added 3 general galleries to this blog – see the menu at the top. We have a Scenery Gallery that shows all the different scenery that we have passed through and seen along our way [we will caption everything when we have time].
There is also a Truck Gallery that shows our truck in all sorts of places – for those who like looking at pictures of trucks!
A Food Gallery gives a picture of what we eat out and cook ourselves in house sits and the truck. Sarah is constantly planning meals with ever-changing ingredients, we don’t really have a freezer and our fridge is small – so we can only buy a small amount of food at a time. Every state/province has different shops, market stalls and foods. She is constantly asking “what do we usually eat?”. Now she can look at this gallery for clues and ideas!
What is happening with the weather? We Brits love talking about weather!
This time we have travelled through deep snow, out of the snow, back into the snow and out of it, and back into it again. This has been due to changing elevation as we have travelled in and out of the mountain time zones as well as more snow falling.
Overnight we had really fat flakes of snow at McCall, Idaho. There was no snow in Hell’s Canyon after this – just a cool breeze. Then we slid around on ice and made our own tracks in deep, deep snow for a lonely night at Emigrant Springs State Park. We saw a couple of dog walkers and Mr Ranger before we were left on our own for the night. Mr Ranger told us that this was the first proper winter they had had for a few years – meaning that they got some real snow this time. “Going back 30 years we used to get 8-10 foot of snow” he said. We replied, “This is like 8-10 foot of snow to us, as we are used to less than an inch back home”.
Are we within our budget? Are we beaten or penniless?
We were within our meagre budget until we had to renew our extortionate, north american road insurance and pay associated bank charges at exactly the moment that the pound fell to an even greater low! Despite this, we are still remaining close to our crazily insufficient budget. It keeps getting harder as the pound falls further due to more Brexit stupidity! We have also had trouble getting online securely so banking and payments has been less than easy. Now the bank is closing our “free foreign transactions” bank account just to help us along – so we will pay even more to get our money out each week! Let’s just say “Life is often a challenge but we mostly get around it”.
What do we really think of it so far?
Some days life is easy and we feel like we are on holiday. Other days it is much harder than being at home working and doing the same things over and over again each week. We refuse to be beaten despite the constant challenges. We are now house sitting for 10 days again and Sarah is walking another dog in the rain and towelling her down, wiping her muddy feet [white carpets here!] and we are scraping by. Luckily the dog is friendly and not hard work otherwise, the home owners were great company on the evening before they left, the house is comfortable and we are catching up on some jobs while it rains.
It was nice at Sorrento and very comfortable in peoples’ houses while it snowed.
It was nice leaving there and getting back in our truck – just because it is nice to be on the move again.
We enjoyed the Nordic skiing – but were rubbish at it! It was far too icy when we had our lesson. It was much easier when we tried it alone but we need some practise.
The day we crossed the border back into the USA, the weather was brilliant – bright sun, blue sky, snow all around!
We cooked some emu meat and ate more elk in Montana and thoroughly enjoyed both!
We really enjoyed the mountains but they did get a bit much in the end! It is nice to see some other scenery now – even if it is wet.
We tried to get a crepe at “The Pancake House” in McCall – but they didn’t have any. We still don’t really know why. There were plenty of ribs and other things – but no pancake. We did have stuffed pancakes at “Amazing Crepes” in Whitefish though!
We found a brilliant new bakery, called Grano Bakery, in Oregon City and have been trying out their different breads and pastries.
We got soaked taking the light rail system to the Portland Farmers market but got some really fresh vegetables there – so we are eating well.
Sarah has been wanting to make a potato rosti since having one for lunch in Montreal in September 2016 – she has finally made one in the Portland house sit kitchen – and very fine it is too!
We have found the Americans very friendly and have been made to feel welcome.
Where do we go from here?
We leave here on Sunday and intend to head for the Oregon coast. We hope for less rain, more walking and more time outdoors.
We have 7 weeks to make our way to Berkeley, California where we will hole up in another house and head for a good munch [hopefully several times] in San Francisco. Sarah has her eye on numerous restaurants and a bakery there and obviously there should be more crepes involved! We will have 2 dogs to walk which will assist in keeping the effects of all our planned excesses to a minimum and the free accomodation will help to pay the bill for our planned outings.
After this, we need to fit in Death Valley, Grand Canyon, driving the Big Sur coast and many other things before the Hatch Chile Festival, Baja California and mainland Mexico.
An odd thing that happened in February…..
We pulled into the camp site at Baker City, Oregon and came face to face [or is that bumper to bumper?] with another RB44 truck! Not something we expected to see as there are only around 850 in the entire world and it is likely that only a few are over this side of the world.
Please use the Booking.com link above to book your next discounted hotel. We use this web site all the time and it is really useful. If you use it [at no extra cost to you] we will get a small commission that will help to buy us a pancake or coffee sometime. Thank you!