Thursday, 25 December 2008

Road Trip USA. Day one: Things can only get better!

Washington State

Having started day one of our road trip full of myself about how easy camping is and how wonderful I would be at cooking on a camp stove, I came to realise that all is not as rosy as imagined, but I am getting ahead of myself, I will start at the beginning.
The day started well enough, we picked up the car and Mike drove away, getting the feel for a left hand drive and being on the wrong side of the road. It's weird being a passenger on what should be the drivers side of the car.
Using our new GPS, "the GPS Lady", as she was known, directed us to Walmart to stock up on everything we would need for 3 weeks of camping - tents, food, sleeping mats, a camp stove, pans etc, and then we were off, living a long time dream of Mike's to drive the coast road from Seattle to LA.
Mike did a great job of following "GPS Lady's" instructions and avoiding the mad Amerian drivers as they swerved without indicating, wherever they wanted across the 5 lane highway. We didn't see a lot on the first day but that was planned, we just needed to get out of Seattle, (a lovely, very hilly city with a few interesting museums and the Boeing factory and not a lot else -we had fun though), and out to the Olympic Peninsula.
Our first night's camping was left to chance as we hoped we would just happen across a sign posted campground along the way, which we did. We camped right on the sea's edge in a beautiful spot where we could hear the waves crashing and the ships horns out to sea. If only we could see it.

From USA

From USA

We went from glorious sunshine, with not a cloud in the sky, to dense fog in a matter of seconds as we rounded a corner. So suddenly in fact that we thought we might have stumbled into a forest fire (of which there were many burning across the West Coast). It turned out that it was only seafog but it gave new meaning to the phrase 'fog like pea soup'. We could hear the ocean but not see it, and we could only just see our fellow campers (in their gigantic RV's); it was mightily chilly, but a good spot none the less for our first night on the open road.

Here started the trouble. I had planned what I thought would be an easy, tasty meal of tomatoe sauce, veg, pasta and sausage. How wrong could I be. We put the water on for the pasta and one hour later we were still waiting for it to boil. A strop and a few tears later about my inability as a camp cook and how were we going to survive if we can't even get water to boil on the first night, we abandoned the pasta idea and thought that sausage sandwiches might be a bit easier. The sound of sizzling sausages at least drowned out the sound of Mike's stomach rumbling, and then he confessed that he had just discovered he had the stove on the lowest setting whilst trying to boil the water, that's why it took so long. Men!

So to bed on the first night with full stomachs, our woolly hats, thermals and a full set of clothes on to stave off the freezing cold. Camping is great!

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