From Washington DC we take the last mile to New Jersey / New York. On the way, we stop in Madison and visit our friends. Mara and Elin are super happy to meet their friends too and enjoy playing with them! From New Jersey we explore the area and take the boat taxi over to New York Financial district.
Luckily, Yolanda found an apartment in New York after having researched various platforms for hours. We end up staying in a nice apartment in Brooklyn, just next to the botanic garden. Arriving in Brooklyn, we get a warm welcome from our Swiss friends Michi and Maria and join them for dinner at their lovely place (Good timing that Michi and Maria are in town). We do not only enjoy the great view from their terrace but also the delicious dinner. A fresh prepared and authentic Italian dinner – thank you Maria! The last days we enjoy living in the city, exploring New York and shoping. Michi also takes me out and we enjoy hanging out (e.g. at THE STANDING ROOM).
After leaving the coast, temperatures start rising. The thermometer rose up to 101 degrees Fahrenheit on our way to Redding where we stopped for two days on a 5 star campground with pool! For the first time ever we turned on the air conditioning in our trailer and experienced a 5 star service on the campground inclusive the Newspaper delivery every morning! In Redding we visited the amazing Sundial bridge and did a day trip to the Shasta caves. The kids enjoyed the boat trip to get to the caves as well as the 609 steps during the tour thru the cave;-) On our way to Chester we experienced diverse landscapes and big climbs up to the Lassen National Park entrance. Since there was no drive thru on Lassen (the road opens on June 12th) we spent most of the time in the visitor center (an amazing and super interesting visitor center) getting Mara thru the Junior Ranger program 😉 before heading to Chester. Here, we found a gorgeous campground right at lake Almanor. June 10th is our BIG DAY! We decided to go for a hike (approx. 7 km) on Warner Valley (Lassen National Park). We headed towards Devil’s Kitchen. Mara and Elin were leading the hike until we crossed a family that just spotted a blond black bear! With respect we moved on, each of us a holding a kid watching out for the bear – and here we go – the Bear was approx. 150m away from the trail digging and playing. Slightly scared and precautious we moved on to Devil’s Kitchen – a beautiful volcanic landscape with mod pods and steam!
On our way back, we chatted with a ranger and shared our experiences about the bear (he didn’t see the bear on his way) and he taught us that they never experienced aggressions or any accidents with bears in the park – just don’t surprise them! 5 minutes later on our way back, Felix got surprised by a black bear just a few feet in front of him. Stop! Move back! Just trying to keep an eye where the bear heads to since we needed to pass by and didn’t wanted to surprise him behind a tree. After a little while we were save to move on and continue our journey! We then realized how unique this experience was- to meet a golden black bear just on the same trail, in natural surroundings, looking at each other and observe how it behaves in his „living room“. What an incredible day!
…We now notice how dependent we became on technology such as mobile phones, internet, … Unfortunately the internet connectivity on the campgrounds is often weak and it is hard to do some research and plan our trip on the go. We also noticed that the coverage of T-Mobile outside of major cities is rather limited which makes it also challenging to make a reservation of a campground by phone. Arriving in Crescent city we briefly stop at the visitor center to check vacancy on campgrounds. Happy to hear that Mill creek has first come, first serve sites that open up at 2.p.m., so we hurry up to grab a site! There is still some time to explore the area in the afternoon as well as for a small hike. We also enjoy our trip along the Howland Hill Road (dirt road) and spend plenty of time hiking and admiring the giant redwood trees that can get up to 2000 years old and reach a diameter of 6m at the button. Happy to discover once in a while a Starbucks coffee to spend some time researching for campgrounds and alerts on the route. We already noticed that campgrounds may already be booked out on weekends and it will become even harder in a few weeks (vacation).
Mitte Juni, gemeinsam mit unseren Freunden aus der Schweiz (Stefan und Sumi mit Familie), ging es mit unserem Toyota Sienna und dem Trailer los zu einem Roadtrip . Die beiden Familien (Total 7 Persoen) machten sich auf den Weg von Sammamish Richtung I-90 East. Bereits nach 40 Minuten stieg aus dem Motor Rauch auf, so dass sie Rosi, wie wir unseren Wagen liebevoll nennen, eine Pause zur Abkühlung gönnen mussten. Von da an wurde das Tempo angepasst und die Reise etwas ruhiger in Angriff genommen – das ging dann gut – und es gab keine weiteren technischen Zwischenfälle mehr. Nach 2 Tagen kamen die 7 endlich im Yellowstone Nationalpark an und wurden mit zauberhaften Landschaften und der Sichtung diverser Tiere (Grizzli, Bison, Elche, Moose, …) belohnt. Felix mit Céline flogen erst am Freitag nach Bozeman MT und fuhren von da mit dem Mietwagen zum Campground… ein paar Eindruecke in Bild-Form