Everything about our July travels

After one month of travel we returned to Hood River, as visitors, and stayed with friends for 9 days. First we camped on the street in the city and celebrated 4th of July with the lovely Burton family and then had a premium deluxe campsite next to the house of our good friend Jena! Such a great time! We miss you all.

Since then, we’re driving and camping around Washington State.

Driving

We drove 2133 miles / 3433 km (154 miles / 248 km more than during the previous month) of which Basti drove roughly 58 % and Inge 42%. Just like in June our documentation of who drove how many miles wasn’t very detailed. We just write down the long ways in-between campgrounds but not what we drive on a daily basis between campground and city or where ever we go.
We paid $453.94 for 163.6 gallons of gas (407.74 euro for 619.3 liter). That’s a $2.77 price per gallon (compared to $2.65 from last month). We mostly drove in Washington where the gas price is a bit higher than in Oregon.

Calculating the mileage I have tears in my eyes: 13 miles per gallon (?!). So terrible. Well, better than last month when it was 9.9. In June we took a bunch of hills and with Bommel (our r-pod) in tow, the car has quite some work to do.

Overnight locations

We stayed 10 nights at free campsites aka behind the house or on the street next to our friends place. And the other 20 nights at paid campgrounds. We paid $30 per night (monthly average).

Highlights

Bastian’s Highlights were:

  • Mount Saint Helens,
  • Long Beach, WA (were we did our first beach drive with the Tundra, weird feeling) and
  • Port Townsend.

Highlights for me were:

  • Mount Saint Helens since it was so impressive
  • Tidelands of Willapa Bay
  • Port Townsend the city itself (beautiful!)
  • Marine Science Center in Port Townsend because Mika, June and I had a really great day there
  • Ferry ride from Bainbridge Island to Seattle (love being on a boat when the water is friendly 😃 )

Highlights for the kids:

  • Meeting friends in Hood River (we all loved that!)
  • Tidelands of Willapa Bay (endless mud, what could be better?)
  • Marine Science Center
  • Play ground in Port Townsend
  • Soft sand and tons driftwood at Cape Disappointment

willapa-bay-tidelands

Can you find us in the mud?

Route

I’m adding all our campsites to this map and also add the fun things we did. That should show you roughly how we drove too.

And this is the (also rough) plan of what’s coming during the next month or so. If you happen to live somewhere along those lines and have an overnight campsite for us (your driveway, backyard, something else), let us know!

Canada travel plan

Also I’m very interested in visiting Environment related projects and occasions. For example I’d love to see Tar Sands in Alberta. No, it’s nothing beautiful but I’m very interested in seeing such things with my own eyes. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly truth…

 

Expenses

Gosh! Terrible!

I have to say that we bought a ton of stuff that we though we would definitely need for the trip. One thing is solar panels and I’ll talk more about that later. We also paid car insurance and a whole lot of medical stuff.
But that all doesn’t give us a good excuse for the Eat out ($735) and Coffee ($330) craziness. And we almost paid the same for groceries ($977.22) as last month even though we didn’t bbq more than maybe 2 times. In total we paid $4697.86 (exclusive said ‘Other’ stuff).
Crazy! Shocked by this, we ate carrot soup for dinner tonight. More cooking, less indulgence!

July-travel-expense-overview

The two month in comparison.

June-July-comparison

I didn’t include the ‘Others’ bucket in the two charts which includes the solar panels and insurance, since the chart would not be helpful then anymore.

Food

Since we’re want to go to different countries, I’m super curious how our eating will change. Will we eat at different times? Will we eat different things (for sure), what will that be? How much does it cost….

Here is a loose list of things we eat when we cook while we’re in the USA:

  • Granola or oats with soy or oat milk for breakfast
  • Banana smoothie with soy milk for breakfast
  • Pan cakes with blueberries, bananas and / or apples for breakfast
  • Pasta with tomato sauce
  • Vegan mac & cheese (cashew nuts with nutritional yeast)
  • Fried potatoes with vegan sausages
  • Bread with cheese and cold cuts for dinner
  • Veggie soup
  • Quinoa dish with peas, cherry tomatoes, chorizo
  • Cooked corn cobs
  • BBQ (steaks, sausages, salads)
  • Experimental stuff

Can’t think of anything else right now. Let’s see if this changes slightly when we travel through Canada.

Health

Bastian and I caught a cough from one of our friends in Hood River. Mine was gone after a couple of days but Bastian’s is still bothering him 3 weeks later.
When we schlepped our kids up Mount Saint Helens, Bastian carried Juni in a backpack. Well actually not Mount Saint Helens, just a small hill with a viewpoint on top but the stairs were crazy.

The heavy weight together with the cough must have been the cause of Bastian’s inguinal hernia. He went to the ER in Long Beach and was told that it might get better over time. It was recommended that he sees a doctor again 2 weeks later if the condition hadn’t changed. He feels better now but not yet entirely fit. The cough and running nose seem to get better one day and worse the next day. We’re trying a variety of things including essential oils, German cough medicine, immune system booster, over the counter cough meds.
On the kids health front we luckily have only issues with growing teeth to report. In June Mika had one new molar which caused fewer for a couple of days and he was miserable. Now in June, he works on 3 new molars at the same time and is doing much better with those. Yes, it hurts and yes it takes for ever for those stupid teeth to come out. But we’re happy that I’m still breastfeeding since that helps a lot during teething pain nights.

Sport

Not so much sports actually. I went jogging a couple of times but much less than I actually think is good for me. Need to be better in August!
No sports for Bastian except for the schlepping up the stairs.

Gear

So, are we prepared to do lots of dry camping in Central America? That’s the question that we ask ourselves over and over again while we reevaluate our gear. In June we had a battery power problem fairly soon when we were not at an electric hook up campsite. One night without plugged in power cable and the two 12 V batteries were empty. Not good!
We finally decided that we wanted to add some flexible solar panels on the roof of our trailer. We got them at Camping World close to Portland where they were installed as well. The guy who did the majority of the install was skeptical if the panels would provide enough energy in Oregon. ‘We’re not in California here, this is Portland, it rains…’ and in fact it was a rainy day.
Additionally we replaced the 12 V batteries with two 6 V batteries, the type that is also used in golf carts.
Since then we only have seen the batteries fully charged. Even when we dry camped for a week in Port Townsend.
Now let’s talk about poop. Bommel has a black tank (30 gallons), a grey water tank (also 30 gallons) and a fresh water tank (36 gallons). Now imagine we’re in Guatemala or so and there are no dump stations. What happens with the stinky stuff in the black tank? Some long term travelers recommend just pouring it in the next bush. Since we care for the environment and other creatures, we will try to avoid that at all cost. Not only is the sewage a problem for nature, also the chemicals that are used to breakdown the ‘material’ in the black tank (poop and toilette paper). So we bought a Tote n’ Carry thing, 11 gallons with wheels. We’ll use it to get the stuff out of the black tank and then drag it over to a toilette or other disposal option. How that works in reality we still have to find out.
And the other thing we tried to prepare ourselves for are mosquitoes. Since we may travel through Malaria regions and Dengue and what not, we want to do our best to be as unattractive for those little buggers as possible. We bought some of these weird little fans for the really bad cases. They should work for 12 hours and we would use them for hikes in mosquito country. Additionally we’ll spray the mosquito screens on our windows with this extreme strong repellent which should keep them out of our trailer. Cross your fingers for us. We also ramped up on citronella candles and sprays. I have to say though that mosquitoes give a flying f… if I full body spray this on me or not. I could sit in a bathtub full of this stuff and they would still bite me. Which is probably good for the other 3 travelers in my crew.
The essential oil blend that I had high hopes for didn’t work the slightest for me either.

All right, that’s it for now. We’re on our way to Canada, more ferries to come 🙂

Franzi-Bommel-Ferry

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  2 comments for “Everything about our July travels

  1. Colleen
    August 5, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Awesome Inge!

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