I took not one single photo today. Not one. The 278 mile trip from our COE campground at LePage on the John Day River to our home in Rocky Point is a well traveled, well known route for us. Familiar. I suppose if I were in a different mood I could find something wonderful to photograph, there is beauty everywhere if you take the time to look and to see it. But on this day, Mo and I were what my daughter calls “barn sour”, we were heading home, fast, and not taking any time for anything except filling the MoHo in Madras. The sky was a bit cloudy in the morning and the heat of yesterday had cooled. The temperature was a balmy 60 degrees with a stiff breeze, and we were still in shorts.
We did take a bit of time at our favorite little funky café at the Crater Lake Junction of 138 and 97 for lunch. We started this trip with breakfast there and decided it would be fitting to try lunch on this final day of travel. The place is not only famous for breakfast, but has sandwiches, burgers, and real chocolate milk shakes that are renown. It’s not Western Oregon Cool Food, it’s Eastern Oregon Comfort Food. Great lunch!
Instead of driving the shortest route home across the beautiful Wood River Valley, we continued south toward Klamath Falls, with plans to stock up on home groceries at Fred Meyer, fill up the MoHo with gas, and dump at the free/donations accepted RV dump in Moore Park. It added a few miles to our trip, but we wanted to get home fully stocked and ready for the next go round.
I was feeling a bit low as we traveled, remembering all the magnificent beauty we had seen over the past weeks, and the dry dusty eastern side of Oregon between Biggs and Bend wasn’t doing much to cheer me up. However, once we began slipping into the Klamath Basin, and Klamath Lake opened out in front of me, the magic returned. I do love this place. The skies blessed me with clarity as well, no fires adding muddiness to the horizon, and the big white puffies accentuated the gorgeous blue. There were white pelicans cruising above the lake, and the east slope of the Cascades were reflected in the water. There is still snow on Mt McLoughlin, a very unusual sight for mid August. It has been a cool summer in the Cascades for sure.
As we got close to town I got all teary, and told Mo, “I have to see Melody”. She patiently negotiated the town traffic and parking lots with the MoHo and Tracker so I could run into Melody’s workplace for a serious daughter hug. It was great for me to see her, and I think that the hardest part of the trip was the inaccessibly by telephone while we were in Canada and in many parts of Alaska. Like so many busy families, we often keep in touch by telephone when we can’t get together, and I really missed that.
Once filled and loaded with groceries and dumped, we traveled around Klamath Lake to our home. It’s always just a little bit scary coming in after being gone for so long, especially since our home caretakers had to leave a bit before we arrived. The long driveway opened up to the cabin, the greenhouse, the gardens, the big house, all sitting there in the brilliant afternoon light, welcoming us back.
The deer still haven’t eaten the roses or the azaleas, even though I last sprayed Liquid Fence more than six weeks ago. The lawns were still green, the greenhouse intact with tomato plants to the ceiling. The cool summer has blessed me with a ton of green tomatoes, still, but hopefully they will ripen eventually. We spent the first afternoon just walking around a lot, unloading the necessities, and enjoying that great feeling of coming home.
It has taken us three days to finish the cleaning up process, but that is less time than I imagined when I looked at all the dirt on all the rigs. Everything has been washed, cleaned, rubbed, and scrubbed. The laundry is finished, the ironing is done, the only big job left for me is the final writing of the story. I somehow stopped when we got to Hinton and never got back to the blog. Soon.
I did figure out the stats of our trip:
We traveled 7,243 total miles in 41 days, 1,265 miles in the US getting to and from Canada, 3,991 miles in Canada, and only 1,987 miles actually in Alaska.
The total cost of the trip was $6,168, with $4,659 spent on fuel, with an average of 5.14 per gallon since so much of our mileage was in high priced Canada.
We stayed in campgrounds, either dry camping or with hookups 30 nights, with an average cost per night of $23. Our 11 nights boondocking brought that average down to $17 per night.
We spent very little on excursions, with the Discovery River Trip and the Columbia Glacier Trip costing just $360.
We didn’t eat out very often, and actually managed to cook from our grocery stash for a very large part of the trip.
Total cost per day including food, fuel, camping and all incidentals came to $150.44. 75 bucks per day per person is a darn good price for a fabulous, incredible, life time vacation like this one.
I took almost 6,000 photos and managed to delete some with about 3,200 left in my Picasa albums. Maybe I’ll delete some more, who knows, but not for some time yet. I’m having fun picking my ten favorites of each subject, just for fun.