Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Although it was a travel day we took our time Sunday morning. Knowing that we didn't have too far to go - about three or four hours, meant that we had the morning to ourselves. It was probably about 11:00 am by the time the cabin and cockpit were ready for departure.

As mentioned, our plan was to take the I84 and the 30 west towards Portland, stopping off at the first Walmart to do our shopping. After all, Oregon is sales tax free. It was a good plan and would have saved us money, but in the end the traffic of metropolitan Portland scared us off.

How much easier and quieter highway 14 over on the Washington side looked. 

So, that's what we did. And yes, we did pay for it with the taxes in Washington - enough that it makes me wonder - but then I think of the traffic again and no, we did the right thing for us.

Of  course, this meant going back over the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks. By the way, it was $1.50 each time we crossed, so with this final trip over we were up to $4.50.

You can just make it out but that is the Washington State sign - right in the middle of the river.

The last time we stood here two days before we went right to Stevenson and Carson, today it was left.

A pleasant, albeit curvy ride along the 14 west towards Vancouver - Vancouver Washington that is.

While the Interstate on the Oregon side rides at the River level, the 14 in Washington climbs quite dramatically providing really nice views of the Columbia - not that you could tell that from my vantage point. 

No more pictures of the ride once we hit the Interstate. I don't know - I never seem to be able to find things to take pictures of when we are on the Interstate just trying to make time. 

It was a fairly easy ride, although a bit busy for our tastes, up to Puyallup on the I5.

We had decided to make Puyallup our destination because it had all of the stores we needed in one area. A Home Depot for sleeping with a Walmart right beside it, a Bank of America (which we use in the USA because it has an agreement with our Bank here in Canada so we are not charged withdrawal fees), a Vitamin Shoppe and a Vapor Store. 

When I had found all this on the google map I also noticed that there was a lake with a trail and a playground right behind the Walmart. When we arrived at around 3:00pm, we all needed to stretch our legs. 

It was sure busy though. I was the only one that ventured into the playground with Cassia - both Derek and Rufus bailed. Can't say I blame them - it was over the top busy - it seemed like Puyallup has only one playground! Being a nice Sunday afternoon didn't help either I guess.

I thought this was a pretty neat picture of Cas.

Really jumping ahead now - to Monday. With all the errands we had to run Monday morning we didn't get out of Puyallup until 1:00pm! Since we took the 405 we didn't even see Seattle - here is downtown Bellevue instead.

Definitely happy to see this sign - although it only took about an hour from Puyallup to where the 405 meets back up with the I5 it was very very busy. So glad that Derek was driving - what a star!

This is the first sign referencing Canada we have seen in more than five months! 

We were sure to stop at the Smokey Point rest area (mile 208) to use the RV dump. We had missed the first rest area with a dump because we couldn't believe our eyes that there was actually a dump at a rest area - by the time we figured it must be true it was too late. The next rest area we were sure to stop but that one didn't have a dump! The next one we looked for the sign but didn't see it until it was too late and so missed that one too! Sheesh. So - at Puyallup I did my research. Very handy if you are heading back to Canada and want to lighten your load.

We stopped again in Bellingham to visit Trader Joe's and a few other shops. If you can believe it - we didn't have enough beer! We can bring in the equivalent of 24 bottles or cans of beer - each - or to be precise 287 oz. We were short and there was NO WAY we were going to cross without all the beer we could take - not with the price of beer in Canada versus the USA or the choices of good craft beer. 

It wasn't until about 6:00pm that we were back heading north. Where did the day go! I thought we would be comfortably sitting at Derek's mom's place by this time.

Thankfully the border was only about 20 miles away but we also had to do another 30 kms from there. Confused with all the miles and kms? Us too! It's hard to go back to metric.

Ok - so if we were going to be held up at Customs, what about this guy! California license plates with a skidoo on his truck - any bets that he is headed to Alaska? We ended up being parked beside them - I waved and gave him a thumbs up - a pretty neat 'RV' - it's road worthy - right?! Guess so, he made it that far…..

The good news was that by the time we got to the border at around 6:30 pm, it was a fairly short line up - maybe 10 minutes or so.

Now, if you have been with us for a while you will know that we have no luck with borders. Getting in to the USA is by far the worst but coming back home is at times also quite the ordeal. 

But not today! I had a list - the guy read it - Derek listed off all the places we had been (with a play by play of the weather) and we were in! 


I was almost - ALMOST - disappointed! No good story to describe to you with that kind of welcome!

We're HOME! 
Traveling is good but coming home is even better.

We crossed at the Sumas crossing - from there we made our way to Highway #1 heading east to Chilliwack where Derek's mom and sister live. It's an agricultural area surrounded with mountains - still snow capped - mountains.

It always feels a bit weird when we first get into Canada - everything is so - Canadian looking.

Thankfully we arrived just before dark - 7:15 pm - you just have to LOVE the later light hours. Derek's mom had moved since we were here last, so we first had to find our way to her place. We saw her car, we parked behind it, we all got out and we headed in.


It was quite the winter, wasn't it? 

It was good, it was bad. In a future post I'll give you a run down of our thoughts (favourites) and stats (mileage and gas expense).

Tomorrow Cassia and I head to Vancouver Island for a week while Derek and Rufus strike out on their own. They are going to check out our home for the summer. As you can imagine - the Wood Clan doesn't separate very often - it'll seem a bit strange. 

Cas and I are going to do some sightseeing, and most likely head to the Royal BC Museum and Imax, so I should have some good stuff for you next post.

I have shared pictures twice over the years of our trips to Victoria - we generally go in the spring and in the fall - if you have missed them and are curious they are here: Island Vacation and  Cassia and I go to Victoria. I'll post this trips pictures when we get back next week.



If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. A nice easy border crossing is wonderful.
    Like you said once we cross the border everything is so Canadian looking!
    Have fun.

  2. You have seen lots this winter but it is always nice to be home. Have fun on the Island, too bad we are not there to see you, maybe some time. I am happy the border crossing went well but sorry it did not provide more exciting Blogging material ;).

  3. Glad you are home now safe and sound. Anxious to see your summer digs. The border looks scary! Yikes. The shoe is on the other foot now!!!!! See you guys soon.

  4. Welcome home, and we're looking forward to your summer adventures... I'm sure there are a few beers in the fututre...

  5. Ahhhhh.....home sweet home!! Been a long winter eh??

    Safe Travels............

  6. Enjoyed traveling along via your posts this past Winter. Really glad we crossed paths, and hate that we didn't get to share a brew or two..


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