Countdown to Road Trip!

As most people are barbequing and enjoying the first official weekend of summer, Charles and I are preparing to hit the road on Tuesday for a month-long trip.

This one will take us up north through Oregon and Washington (with stops at a dude ranch, a rural hot springs and the Tacoma glass sites), before taking the Port Angeles ferry to Vancouver Island. From there we’ll get on another ferry to Salt Springs Island. After a night in a very accessible inn, we’ll take the ferry back to Vancouver Island, then head over to Port Alberni, Tofino, and Campbell River, before taking another ferry to Powell River. Next it’s on through Kamloops and into Alberta with stops in Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper, Edmonton, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and Calgary. We’ll cross back over into the states in Montana, then hit Whitefish and Glacier National Park, before heading down to West Yellowstone (some cool new accessible cabins there) and over to Casper and down to Estes Park. To round out the trip we will visit Glenwood Hot Springs and Monument Valley, before crossing back into California. On our last day we’ll even have a chance to check out the tortoise refuge near California City.

Those are the highlights, but of course I’ll blog about things along the way and post photos on Facebook.

Of course getting ready for a trip like this involves lots of must-dos, including getting the car checked out so we won’t run into any unexpected failures along the way. Charles always takes it to the dealer for an oil change right before the trip (the dealer usually provides a better maintenance check than the quick lube places). On this visit they discovered that the tie-rod ends and a transmission line needed to be replaced, along with the standard oil change and tire rotation. And we also had to have an alignment because of the new tie-rod ends. They also found a couple of other inexpensive things that needed to be replaced, and in the end our $30 oil change turned into a $780 repair.

But it’s all good, as I’d much rather replace these items on my own terms, rather than when we are on the road. After all, they won’t go away or repair themselves if I don’t take care of them, and in the end they could even cause more damage.

Additionally, Charles and I always get a pre-trip “tune up” and this trip is no exception. On Friday we had an acupuncture appointment, so now we have happy backs and muscles for the trip. We also do EDGU along the way to keep things in line.

So now I’m down to doing the laundry and packing up my suitcase, before we hit the road on Tuesday morning. It will be good to be back on the road again!

Stay tuned!!