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.
13 thoughts on “Day 41 August 15 Home to Rocky Point and the trip stats”
Your comment about “barn sour” made met think about Jim's sister and her horses out in VA. They come tearing back to the barn when she clangs the food cup on the fence railings. We came through your area last year and it really is beautiful. We have friends who live in Medford and we had though maybe we'd get back out that way again this year but once again plans change and it didn't happen. There's always next year, at least for a few more years.
It's good to hear that you've made it home safe and sound. To be honest, I was getting worried that you hadn't checked in. Guess it goes to show just how attached some of us get to sharing a journey with someone — even if we've never met them. I hope your re-entry continues to be uneventful and you can find some small adventures to take in the near future. Again, thanks so very much for taking us along.
Welcome home you two! Seems like it has been longer than 41 days. So glad you got to have this incredible adventure and that you allowed so many of us to ride along with you.
I loved your photos along the way and your header photo remains one of my favorites. There are so many beautiful places in this great country, but when all is said and done, I think Oregon ranks right up there in the top 10. I feel the same way about the Willamette Valley as you do about the Klamath Basin. Isn't it great to live in Oregon!!
I'm so happy you are home safe and sound. Don't delete too many photos. I have loved looking at them and dreaming about our trip to Alaska in 2013. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful place iwth us. Stats were also very helpful.
Great to hear you're home safe and sound after your wonderful adventure. Interesting stats too – thanks for sharing those.
6,000 is a lot of photos to go through but what a fun task with so many great memories they'll provide.
I have truly enjoyed your Alaskan adventure. I appreciate your style of recording your experiences.
For me, the journey to Alaska and back continues to call to me even after seven years. Those memories just don't go away or even diminish much…
41 days really did fly by. $150 per day is excellent, considering the high fuel prices!
Glad you are all back safe and sound. Great memories have been made.
That 41 days sure went fast. Seems like only last week that you were leaving. That sure is a lot of photos but I clearly understand why so many. Quite an editing job ahead of you. As a rule, I enjoy the editing process & fine tuning the photos. A great job for a rainy day. I always really enjoy those last few miles coming home & pulling into the driveway. Always a big sigh of relief to once again be home safe & sound after another great adventure.
Welcome Home! What an amazing trip you had … and such memories to relish. With time, any sour aspects will dim and the pleasurable moments will be the ones you remember. Hold off on the deleting … it's easier to do when you put some time and distance between the taking of the photos and when you actually hit the “D” button.
Welcome home!!! Got worried there, it was long since a blog!
Welcome home!!! Got worried there, it was long since a blog!
glad you made it home safely!!..6000 photos!?..wow..that will take a while to go through!!!..be thankful you don't have to pay $$ to print them all!!
Welcome Home girls!!! I can't imagine all the mixed up feelings of coming home after a trip such as the two of you have shared! You may have noticed the lack of my comments…or not. I decided to wait until you were all done with your trip and then read the whole thing at once! Kind of like a novel, because I know it will be exactly that ~ only with awesome photo's!! I don't know exactly when I will start it, but I'm excited about it!!!!!