At the end of the journey Kitai and I had traveled 4,974 miles going to Michigan to pick up The Glampette. It's definitely the furthest I've ever driven. I think before that the longest drive I'd ever been on was just over 900 miles (round trip) from San Jose to Palm Desert for an INXS concert.
This is a dramatized odometer reading of how far we'd traveled.
Our final leg began in Sutherlin, Oregon at the Hi-Way Haven RV Park and ended back home in San Jose, CA.
The day was gorgeous and began driving over the river. . .
And through the woods. . .
To the Wild Rose Vineyard we went.
I hadn't done too many touristy road stop things on most of our journey so I decided a wine tasting would be a good distraction from spending the entire day in the car again.
As soon as I parked my car I was greeted and invited into the tasting room.
I'd read online that Wild Rose Vineyards had a Late Harvest Pinot Gris. I was curious to try it as I'd loved the LH Pinot Gris at Balletto Winery in Santa Rosa, CA. It turned out they were completely different. The Balletto had been a very sweet dessert wine, and the Wild Rose Vineyards was a semi-dry wine. It was dry, but not too dry. I could enjoy this wine with a meal the way other people drink the very dry wines. I was so happy I'd stopped I purchased a bottle to add to the two I'd bought at Burr Oak Winery in Wisconsin a couple of weeks earlier.
The rest of the morning I spent driving Grants Pass. It was long but no problem for my car or The Glampette. I am so relieved that my car has been able to deal with the passes. I'll admit I was concerned they might have been too much for it with the trailer in tow. When I got home I had an inspection done and it turned out everything had held up quite well on the trip, including my transmission. YAY!
A brief stop at an agricultural check point and we were on our way.
When possible I would let Kitai out to stretch his legs after filling the tank at a gas station. Usually I'd just pull up along the lot on one side and let him out for a bit. Every now and then there just wasn't anywhere to park or there was no grass or dirt anywhere. Then I'd stop at the next rest stop.
Can I tell you that I was really careful about the rest stops? Fred had warned me that not all of them are safe so when I would stop I'd make sure to look around. If there were a lot of people of all ages and both genders milling about, and the parking area was easily visible from the HWY I didn't feel unsafe taking Kitai out. There was one stop in Minnesota or South Dakota that was off the interstate with dense trees and shrubs all around it, 2-3 vehicles in the parking lot, and only one guy in sight walking around. I got a bit of a creepy feeling there so we pulled in and pulled right back out onto the highway.
And then came what turned out to be my most favorite view on the entire trip.
Mount Shasta: The second highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth highest in California.
As I drew closer I was more and more captivated by it.
When my friend Keith asked if I'd seen amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties on my trip I quickly replied "Yes! I did."
It was so beautiful I actually pulled off the Interstate to take this picture and just gaze upon it for a bit. Now I want to buy some acreage with a view of the peak and make it my getaway spot where I can leave the Bay Area behind and decompress. The funny thing is it's about a five hour drive from San Jose. Before that would have seemed too far. Now? It's nothing. It's a drop in the bucket. I could leave home at 5:00 AM and be in Shasta in time for breakfast. LOL
As I continued on my way I felt conflicted. I was glad to be going home. I love being at home where hubby, our cat Squash, and my many dear friends are and everything feels safe and familiar. But I was equally sad that my trip would be ending. Despite a few bumps along the road the trip changed me. It definitely tapped into a more adventurous side (of me) that hadn't seen the light of day before. Well, except for that time I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19 with no job, no car, and about $75 in my pocket. But other than that, I've lived a pretty sheltered life. LOL
It was weird. The closer I got to home the more sad I felt that my trip was ending. Somewhere after Colusa, where hubby and I love to go photograph birds, I saw several sun flower fields in bloom. I have to say they did cheer me up. I felt rather tickled to see them and took this picture for my friend Judy who loves sunflowers.
While merging between interchanges I looked over my shoulder to change lanes and saw that Kitai had finally gotten the hang of relaxing in the car. The first day he never laid down or stopped peering ahead, not once in 12 hours. Here we were weeks later and he was sprawled on his back with his hind legs splayed. LOL He was probably snoring too.
I knew we were back home when we hit a traffic jam. It gave me time to think about all I'd seen and how I wasn't even home yet but I missed the adventure of looking forward to the next day on the road. I missed the places I'd visited, my family I'd left the day before in Washington, the old friends I got to see and the new friends I'd made. But in the back of my mind I felt like it was ok. Now that I have The Glampette all of those people and places are all only four days away or less from San Jose. It made me smile at how funny it was that now distance was something I measure in hours or days, not airline ticket prices and 14 day advance reservations.
When I pulled onto our block hubby was standing on the curb in front of our house waving to me as I came down the street. It was a perfect homecoming.
It was dark so I backed into the driveway because I wanted to wash The Glampette before putting her away. This is the final shot of my trip. It's me backing The Glampette into our garage the next morning.
Thank you again to everyone who made my trip so special. Some of you made a huge effort to come see me, to feed me, some of you trusted me even though you really didn't know me, and some of you gave me the reassurances I needed that both The Glampette and I were going to be ok together. It wouldn't have been the same without each and every one of you.
If you've been reading each post day by day I want to say thank you for coming along with Kitai and I. I hope this trip inspires you to take one of your own. You don't have to have a trailer or leave for a long time. I'm willing to bet that within an hour or less of your house there's a park, restaurant, museum, shop, lake, hiking trail, pond, city, town, or place that you've never visited before. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and discover new places, meet new people, and make an adventure for yourself.
To follow my Michigan or Bust road reports here they are:
Days 1-3: Picking up my tiny travel trailer: 2364 miles to happiness :)
Day 4: Be still my glamping heart: The cutest vintage grill ever!
Days 4-8: Meeting Fred and The Glampette for the first time
Welcome to The Glampette: A peek inside
Day 8 Part 2: Around the lake and on to Wisconsin Wine Country
Day 9: A suspenseful night at the Kennebec KOA
Day 10: It could have been worse
Day 10 continued: Overnight at a Walmart, a traveler's rite of passage
Days 11: Montana to Washington car don't fail me now!
And my favorite RV Park was: Hi-Way Haven in Sutherlin, OR
4974 miles later our adventure comes to an end