Just wanted to post about my family's recent 12-day trip from Port Moody, BC to Fremont, CA and back to attend a wedding. Mostly I just want to give a little info on the places we stayed at as we received some good suggestions in another thread and I wanted to provide some feedback on those and some information on other places we found.
The family: me, my wife, my 13-month son and our 80 lb. golden retriever.
- 1974 Trillium
1300 (my wife's parents bought this 2nd hand when she was 4 years old).
- 1997 Subaru Outback Sport (just passed 295000 kms on our way back!).
- DIY crib for our son.
- Dometic Cabana awning
We stayed on I-5 for the most part on the way down with a little detour to see Crater Lake. On the way back from Fremont, we stayed on the coast as much as possible until Florence, OR where we decided we needed to get back to the I-5 to avoid a couple too-long days in the car to end the trip.
Day 1 (July 4) - Port Moody, BC to Seaquest State Park
near Castle Rock, WA.
- We picked that state park as we wanted to see Mt. St. Helens and I had been there before years ago when car camping and found it to be nice. The campsite reservation system is very good for this park (each site is described in great detail). Our site was as described and the bathrooms were decent. The bug situation was not bad at all...a few mosquitoes is all but hardly enough to consider them a pain.
Day 2 (July 5) - Quick visit to Johnston Ridge Observatory to see Mt. St. Helens up close and then on to Hi Way Haven RV Park
near Roseburg, OR.
- Johnston Ridge Observatory provided great views and we had crystal clear weather for great visibility in all directions which was much appreciated since we only had one chance there. The observatory area is very dog restricted so don't plan on staying long if you have a dog with you. You basically cannot leave any unpaved area which is fair enough as it is a senstive ecosystem.
- After seeing Mt. St. Helens, we hit the road for Hi Way Haven RV Park. This site was mentioned by Donna D. and we found it to be an excellent spot for a night when in transit. Bathrooms were excellent, free wi-fi, they had a dog run for some off-leash time and, best of all, they have a drive-in theatre screen and show movies every night. Mid-week seems to be oldies...there was no posted schedule but we got A Hard Day's Night (Beatles). The more recent titles were scheduled for the weekend nights.
Day 3 (July 6) - To Diamond Lake RV Park
near the north entrance of Crater Lake National Park.
- I was too late booking so we couldn't get a spot at the Mazama campground so Diamond Lake RV Park was the next best bet. It is the closest site to Crater Lake that is not in the national park itself. The staff were friendly here and the campground was just across the road from the lake and a small convenience store and restaurant. Satellite-fed wifi was also free up to a certain limit that I can't recall. The bathrooms were alright. The problem with this site was the mosquitoes: massive and many. I really wouldn't go back here for that reason alone. Each time I squashed one it would leave a quarter-sized blood splatter in my palm.
- We had arrived at Diamond Lake RV Park early enough in the day to see Crater Lake that afternoon. It was quite stunning and we're glad we went to see it.
Day 4 (July 7) - Heritage RV Park
in Corning, CA.
- Our goal on day 4 was to just get further than half-way to Fremont from Crater Lake. We took hwy 97 from Crater Lake down to I-5 on the recommendation of the Diamond Lake RV Park staff as it was less hilly than going right back to I-5. Redding was our absolute minimum distance for the day and we figured Corning was manageable (and it was). Heritage RV Park was absolutely perfect for a stop-over. It's close to I-5 but not right on it. The park is very clean, the bathrooms were pristine and we even got a free bag of ice when we checked in (not sure if that's standard or not). Wi-Fi was free and they had a very nice pool although we didn't get a chance to use it. The park is also within walking distance of a few restaurants and there's a Subway right next to the park entrance. I highly recommend this place if you're looking a transit stop in that area on your way along I-5.
Days 5-6 (July 8-9) - Fremont/Newark Hilton for our friend's wedding.
- I have to mention that the hotel had no issue with us just parking the Trillium in any spot we wanted in the parking lot for the weekend.
- The company I work for has an office in Sunnyvale so I found a co-worker who was willing to look after our dog for the weekend while we attended wedding festivities; how sweet was that?
Day 7 (July 10) - Through San Fran and then along Hwy 1 to Bodega Bay RV Park
- Bodega Bay RV Park is a nice park next to some tall grassy fields that were great for walking the dog in. Free wi-fi and no bugs at all on account of the wind. Staff were very friendly. We spent a little time a Doran beach the next morning but other than that we didn't get a chance to really enjoy Bodega Bay as it seemed like a really neat place to spend some time.
Day 8 (July 11) - To Giant Redwoods RV and Camp
in Myers Flat, CA while staying on Hwy 1 until past Westport.
- The sites here were pretty uneven and the bathrooms were pretty bad. In general, the campground needed a lot of TLC. The one redeeming feature of this place though was it's location along the Eel River. There was a path from the campground right down to the river where there was plenty of space to hang out by yourself on the river's edge. The river was was very calm and shallow so we could allow our dog to walk around and swim in it a bit. Myers Flat is right in the middle of the 'Avenue of the Giants' so we backtracked a little the next morning to start from the beginning.
Day 9 (July 12) - Avenue of the Giants and then on to Shoreline RV Park
in Crescent City, CA.
- The Avenue of the Giants was a nice drive and we took a little detour into the Rockefeller Forest which was pretty cool. The road was quite tight though so there weren't many places to turn around if you wanted to.
- Shoreline RV Park in Cresent City, while in a nice location, was a brutal park. The sites were very uneven and there was only one set of bathrooms for the entire place (in a corner so quite far from some of the sites). The condition of the bathrooms was not good and it was obvious that many of the sites were not used very often (based on the brown water that we got for a minute after turning on our faucet the first time). I saw the manager cleaning a bench by the entrance and wondered why they weren't spending a little more time maintaining the sites or fixing the bathrooms (hand-dryers didn't work, no latches on bathroom stall doors).
- Crescent City itself was quite beautiful though with a wonderful shoreline park and we managed to find a great restaurant to eat out for a night while we were there.
Day 10 (July 13) - To Jesse M. Honeyman Memorial State Park
near Florence, OR.
- Our next stop was Honeyman State Park to see the dunes. We didn't have a reservation but they do set aside some spots on a first-come-first-served basis each day. This park is fantastic. Bugs were minimal, bathrooms were great and there is plenty to do here for kids (massive playground, nature centre and, of course, the dunes). The showers were free and are situated separately from the mens/womens bathroom so our entire family could go at once (which makes holding and bathing a very small child in the shower that much easier). I would love to come back to this park once my son is older. The dunes were fantastic too...
Day 11 (July 14) - Back to I-5 and then up to Sequest State Park again.
- After Honeyman Park, we decided that we needed to get back to the I-5 in order to reduce our drive times for the final two days of the trip. We had originally planned to get as far as Woodland, WA (just north of Portland, OR) but we were making such good time that we just decided to go for another half hour and get back to Seaquest State Park where we had spent day 1. We actually ended up in the exact same site as well which was nice as it had a log that my son really enjoyed climing up and down.
Day 12 (July 15) - Back home to Port Moody, BC.