#Vanlife – Los Angeles to Port Angeles

The next leg of our trip takes us from sunny southern California to the gloomy rain forests of coastal Washington. We’ve driven much of this stretch of highway before, but only in little bits at a time, never in one straight shot. Our route from Los Angeles to Port Angeles doesn’t run quite the entire length of the coast, but at 1,370 miles (2,204km), it’s pretty darn close. Along the way, we got to experience the beauty of nature, drink some tasty beers, and spend ten days with our amazing besties!

San Francisco, California

After a quick overnight with Josh’s dad in Bakersfield, we were on our way to our first major stop of our Los Angeles to Port Angeles adventure, San Francisco. We were in a bit of a hurry, so we took the freeway to get there. The total drive was 415 miles (667 km), with very little scenery to speak of. We arrived in the city a little before sunset and checked in to our private room at the Green Tortoise Hostel. The place was awesome with several free meals, friendly staff, and clean rooms.

The next morning, we were up and dressed early for the walk to the Italian Consulate for my Italian dual citizenship interview. I have been working on this process since 2011, so it was a very special day for me. The consulate was a mile walk from our hostel, up and down the iconic hills of San Francisco. Josh dropped me off with a kiss and a wish for luck, and then it was time for my long awaited appointment. The interview went really well and I was told that my acceptance would be emailed to me within a few months! We went out for pasta in Little Italy to celebrate before jumping right back on the road. 

San Francisco to Manchester

We had driven the majority of Historic Highway 101 on previous trips, but not the portion through northern California. With the interview over, we had plenty of time, so we opted to take the scenic route on our way to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. All of my fellow travel bloggers promised that the drive would be long and slow due to the twists and turns of the highway, but the ocean views would blow us away. They were right about it being long and slow.

The wind was blowing, it was cold, and the view was shrouded in fog for most of the day. On top of that, HWY 101 is famous for its snakelike twists and turns. Although Josh enjoyed the physical driving part, I was challenged to keep my lunch down. After a long day, we opted to spend Night 4 of our Los Angeles to Port Angeles adventure in Manchester, California. It was no surprise to either of us that we fell immediately asleep upon arriving at the Manchester Beach KOA.

Manchester to Burlington

We woke up to a beautiful warm and clear day and hoped for the best. Our first stop was Fort Bragg, where we visited Glass Beach and North Coast Brewing Company. I wish I had planned a little better and had us spend a couple of days there. It was a really lovely town with quite a bit to do.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit Yosemite National Park along the way from Los Angeles to Port Angeles, but we were able to spend the night at the beautiful and wondrous, Humboldt Redwoods State Park. I have visited the Redwoods before and it blew my mind. Somehow, only a couple of years later, it did it again. These trees are some of the tallest in the world. Hiking among them truly makes me feel the power of nature.

Eugene, Oregon

Much of our adult life was spent living in Eugene, Oregon and I hated it the whole time. It was too laid back, too wet, and too alternative. The moment I moved out, I missed it. It is so relaxed, so green, and so creative. Damn it, Eugene! I missed you! But even more, I missed all of my friends, especially my besties!

We spent the week crashing at their home just outside of downtown Eugene. It felt so good to go back to our old routines together. Evenings were spent playing games, eating food, and going out. As they both went to work during the day, we camped out in the dining room and got our own work done. My favorite part of our quiet afternoons was the daily walks with our pug-phews. Parker and LP are so cute!!

Not only was this the perfect friend visit we were dying for, it was productive. Our buddy, Travis, is a digital artist. We got the chance to work with him on Josh’s upcoming book cover. So far it looks amazing! It has been really special to be able work with friends on a project that is so close to our hearts.

Port Angeles, Washington

It was a real challenge to leave my friends (again) and move on to Washington for the final leg of the Los Angeles to Port Angeles adventure. I don’t cry very often, but I have to admit I bawled my face off for a little while. One of the few downsides of traveling full-time is the loneliness. I’m so thankful to be traveling with my best friend and true love, but I miss my friends and family. I’ve taken too many nights of Catan and mixed opinions on music for granted.

But we are on to Washington for our next house sit. This one will be a little less than a week, but offers us the opportunity to explore the Puget Sound and Olympic National Park. We’ve spent a decent amount of time in Washington, but house sitting in Port Angeles will be a new and exciting adventure for us.

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