We’ve been very busy since we returned from our last trip: I went to Syracuse for my niece Eileen’s beautiful wedding, and we’ve had both Susan’s daughter and one of her sons in town for extended visits, which was also lovely. We did get away before the 4th of July, spending a few nights up in a campground near Mt. Hood (Lost Creek Campground; a very nice place to spend a few nights). Susan and her son and daughter-in-law did a bunch of great hikes on the mountain, while the gimpy-kneed me stayed close to camp and acted as sommelier and sous chef.
We had a blast, but after the last of the family left, the wanderlust beckoned hard. (If I were completely honest, it started calling about a week after we got back from the Walla Walla trip.) Because the camping situation gets so crazy in the mid-summer months, we had been thinking about doing a few small, local midweek excursions to keep us busy until September, when things settle down in the campgrounds, and we could go off on the big fall trip.
The plan was to take off after Labor Day on another eight-week extravaganza, this time in Oregon and California, to Waldo Lake, the Alvord Desert, and the Shasta Valley. Waldo is one of Susan’s favorite places, one that I too have come to love; the Alvord is a strange and beautiful place, somewhere we’ve each been dying to return to; and the Shasta Valley is one of the homes in my heart, and I’ve been wanting to explore some of its beauty with Susan.
Unfortunately, Susan’s shoulder, which she had been trying hard to repair this year with physical therapy, finally told her that it wasn’t going to get better. After balancing our desire to go off on another great adventure to one of reducing pain, we decided that it was better to go in for surgery now, and get on the rehab train as soon as possible, so that Susan could be healthy again before the end of the year.
The surgery is scheduled for August 10, so we decided to do a quick jaunt somewhere before then, and elected to head up to Canada. Our first destination was the Escape factory in Chilliwack, B.C., to finalize the options for our upcoming trailer (coming November 1). We finally got to get inside the model we’re building, and it was pretty awesome—so awesome that I forgot to take any pictures, of course.
Our ultimate destination this time around is Whistler, an area we have wanted to visit for some time. Our friends Katie and Gene had driven up north of Whistler and east down to Hope, then back through Chilliwack and back into the States, and said that the drive was beautiful, so we wanted to give that a try (in reverse). Leaving Chilliwack, we hit some serious rain through the mountains, and ended up in a crappy little campground halfway between Hope and Whistler. Between the thunderstorms last night, and being surrounded too closely by other (huge) campers, we will be very glad to leave this morning. It’s sunny, which means that we should have an easier drive into Whistler; we plan to stop at a couple of promising parks along the way.
After a few nights in Whistler, we’ll head back home to hunker down and heal for the rest of the summer. Seeing the Escape got us all excited about the future; the Casita has been wonderful, but the larger size of the Escape is what we wanted when we started down this road, and we’re already planning 2017’s travels.
If Susan heals well, we’ll take the Casita out one last time for a few days to Waldo Lake at the end of September, and then put it up for sale in anticipation of the Escape’s arrival. It does mean that we won’t do as much traveling this year as we had hoped, but we will be healthy and ready to hit the road again next spring.