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Oregon road trip in early June

Discussion in 'US - Western States Timesharing' started by dreamin, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. sue1947

    sue1947 TUG Member

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    The St Helens visitor Center closest to I-5 isn't much. It was the first one opened after the blast as a chamber of commerce effort. There's an entrance fee and you won't see much. The best visitor center is Johnston Ridge which is right on the edge looking at the Mountain and the blast zone for full impact. The movie is a must do as is the hike. The other Visitor center further down the road is the Forest Learning Center which is ok and second choice and I wouldn't bother with the one down by the freeway. I'd save Mt St Helens for another trip. In fact, June is a great time for both Leavenworth and St Helens so maybe that is next year's trip? There's a whole 'nother thread on that one. The road over Chinook Pass (west of Yakima) and then through the south end of Mt Rainier NP usually open by Memorial Day. In early June, there will still be lots of snow, but the scenery is spectacular. Stay in Packwood or Randle on Highway 12 for both parks.

    Deception Pass is lovely, but they are painting the bridge. The work is mostly at night but they have machinery parked on both sides of the bridge so parking will be limited and walking across the bridge is limited to one side only. The 'free' parking on the far side now has a Discover pass required sign in it plus limitations from the painting. Discover Pass is the day use fee for Washington state parks and they have 2 free days in June; June 8 and 9th. If you are there on one of those days, continue past the bridge to the light and turn right into the park. At the 3 way stop, go straight ahead to North Beach. Find the trail on your right and hike up along the trail that goes underneath the bridge. It's a beautiful walk. If you can park in the lot at the far end of the bridge, find the stairs down to the trail on the bridge side of the parking lot.
    The ferry to Port Townsend is a small one and you will want reservations in advance. You can do this online. In addition, that ferry is frequently impacted i.e. runs cancelled, by low tides so make sure you check in advance. It's a beautiful drive, but it also has it's own traffic issues. Weekends can be stop and go through Oak Harbor and the drive down from Port Townsend is mostly narrow and windy two lane roads. It will take 2 hours more than going through Seattle. Seattle traffic just requires some planning. Leave Vancouver (or better Birch Bay as was suggested earlier to get the border crossing out of the way) around 9am and get through Seattle and down to Olympia by noon and you should miss most of the traffic issues.

    The ferry route is a pretty one and there are plenty of places to stop along the way. If you go that way, I'd bag St Helens and stay west towards the coast for a prettier drive. Just watch for the speed traps through Elma/Montesano/Raymond.

    Sue
     
  2. ronandjoan

    ronandjoan TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, whidbey island a favored place of ours too and a WA state ferry is also the BEST!!

    The Deception Park was built by the CCC... really points out how sturdy things were built in those days!!!

    What dates will you be in Newport?
     
  3. dreamin

    dreamin TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The day we arrive in BC we'll be picking up my sister in Maple Ridge, BC and crossing into the US at the Sumas border which is supposed to be much quicker than the busier Blaine crossing. That first day we'll be able to drive as far as Burlington, WA which will allow us more time the next day to enjoy the drive on Whidbey Island. This will also make it easier for me to judge what time to make the reservation for the ferry.

    Joan, we'll be in Newport for 2 nights - June 9th and 10th. Unfortunately we'll miss you & Ron. It would have been fun to meet up as we sure enjoyed the Orlando TUG event.
     
  4. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Are you sleeping over in Burlington? Where are you staying?

    Depending on when you're leaving BC, keep in mind the drive from the Sumas Border Crossing to Burlington is only about 45-60 minutes. On I-5 the exit numbers are also mile markers. So if you cross at Sumas, and make your way to I-5 at Meridian(?), that's Exit 256. Burlington is at Exit 230. So only 26 miles, and most of it is outside a metro area (after you leave Bellingham.). Even the Blaine Border Crossing by the Peace Arch is Exit 276, so is only 46 miles to Burlington from there. You may make better time than you think.

    Also, from Maple Ridge, the Lynden Crossing might be faster than driving all the way over to Sumas, then back to I-5. From the Lynden Crossing it's a straight shot down "the Guide" to I-5 at Exit 256.

    Also, remember the sun sets much later right now, so you'll have a lot of daylight that day. :)

    Safe trip!

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 10:21 AM
  5. sue1947

    sue1947 TUG Member

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    I think Burlington is a good place for the first night. It has a good selection of decent and inexpensive motels and plenty of restaurant choices. It always takes longer on the first day than I think so giving yourself some extra time makes a lot of sense.
    If you have time and want to get out for a walk, try Padilla Bay Shore Trail less than 10 miles west. Take Highway 20 towards Anacortes. Take a right at Bayview-Edison road (there's a light and the Farmhouse restaurant on the far corner) and drive around 2 corners around the farm fields and look for the small trailhead on your left. The trail is along an old dike so look for a very small parking area with a gate and a porta-pottie and then a small parking area just past that. The paved trail follows the slough and then the Bay with benches along the way. It's very popular and a nice place to stretch your legs after being in the car.

    On the other hand, if you have more time, getting to Oak Harbor for the night gives you time to explore Deception Pass without worrying about catching the ferry. Oak Harbor can be very congested so allow extra time to get through there.
    Sue
     
    DaveNW likes this.
  6. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    And Deception Pass Bridge along about sunset in Summer is a great view. :thumbup:

    Dave
     
  7. ronandjoan

    ronandjoan TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Oak harbor is on a beach too, a nice walking path.

    Burlington? Not
     
  8. mickydred1

    mickydred1 Guest

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    S0 many great suggestions for you. I didn't see any mention of seeing all the whales. Driving south On 101 before Newport is Depoe Bay, right in the middle of this small town is a easyview point to watch all the whales feeding. They are very close to shore. Last June we saw maybe 30+ whales feeding.
     

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