The Big RV Trip 2021


Planning is well underway for our upcoming 10 week trip to the Pacific Northwest. All of our RV overnight reservations have been made, and I'm now fleshing out the available options currently available in each location, with hopes (but not expectations) that even more options will come online between now and then as more people receive their COVID vaccinations. But even with the limited options as they exist today, it's going to be an amazing trip due to the plethora of outdoor sights and activities.

I am incredibly thankful to be fit and strong enough to be able to schedule the majority of our time doing things like hiking, biking, and kayaking, which are not reliant on anything other than our own physical capabilities, and which are completely COVID-compliant regardless of what might be going on in the US at that point.

Here is a map of where we'll be traveling, essentially traveling up via the 5 interstate, and returning via the western coastline. Going up the 5 puts us in the heart of the Great Cascade Mountains, during which we'll be visiting Mt. Rainier NP (a return visit for us) and North Cascades NP (first time for us).  We'll then turn west upon reaching the Canada border, circling the Puget Sound in it's entirety, and continue west upon reaching Port Townsend at it's tip. From there we'll travel over to the Pacific Ocean via Olympic NP (also a return visit for us) before turning south for the return trip home via the coastline.

There will be 19 stops in all, over 70 days of traveling, with the majority of our layovers ranging from 4 to 7 days. We are so excited, as are our best friends, who will be traveling alongside us in their own travel trailer. We've done long RV trips of similar duration before, but this will be their first time doing any trip longer than the three weeks we spent together in 2018 RV traveling around the Southwest. I'm actually surprised at their enthusiasm in being gone for so long, and hope it maintains for them as it did for us during our first lengthy RV trip, but if it does not for some reason, the beauty of this trip is that we can easily continue on on our own.

That's actually a lesson I learned painfully many years ago - plan each and every trip the way we want to, without make concessions. If I make concessions, I then set myself up for resentment should things take a turn for the worse. Conversely, if others choose to join in with us on a trip we've planned to our particular liking - fantastic! Plus, there is no law saying our friends have to do each and everything our way. There will be plenty of opportunities for us to each plot out days to our individual preferences, and it will be fun to regroup after doing so in order to hear about each other's daily adventures. Because adventures, both good and bad, are pretty much guaranteed - towing and living in a travel trailer, exploring new locations, moving frequently . . . yep, adventures both good and bad will undoubtedly occur! 

Between now and then I am doing a deep dive into each location we'll be staying at in order to identify interesting places to hike, bike and kayak, interesting places to eat outside or get takeout , interesting geological sights to visit and photograph, and interesting COVID-conscious organized activities such as a jet boat ride on the Rogue River in Oregon, a paddle boat ride along the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, and a guided horseback ride along the beach in southwest Washington. 

I'm also jotting down local museums wherever I can find them, but these are of course very volatile in a pandemic environment, so there are on my list as bonus activities should we be so fortunate.

As of now, my husband and our best friends either already are or will soon be fully vaccinated (hubby's second appointment is today!), and I am hopeful to be by then. If not, we'll be our own pod, and as vaccinated co-travelers, anything my three fellow travelers might pick up would expose me minimally per the health and science articles I'm continuing to read as the pandemic moves along.

We still have a few months to go before we kick off our big trip, but with much research remaining to be done, and with three more local RV trips occurring before then, I am optimistic the time will pass quickly.

Here's the specific areas we'll be visiting. Excepting Sacramento, which is just a one night layover to breakup the otherwise long drive up to Oregon, recommendations on things to see, do, and eat much appreciated!

70 days, 19 locations, 5 national parks, 4 people, and 2 travel trailers . . . it's going to be an amazing trip!

The Big RV Trip 2021