Tuolumne Meadows, CA to Index, WA

July 13-22, 2008

It's already mid-july. We had initially planned to spend only a couple of weeks climbing in California, but between Tahquitz and Suicide, the Needles, the roadside cragging near Bishop, and our quick stop at Tuolumne Meadows, we've already spent almost two months here! It's getting really hot and smoky from the numerous forest fires all over the state. A couple of routes in Washington and Canada have been on our mind for quite some time. We'd like to give them a shot before leaving for New England at the end of August. It's more than time to leave sunny California and head up North again!

Our first stop will be Portland. We're long overdue for a visit with Radek and Shirley, two climbers we met during our first bus trip and who live in Portland. It's nice to drive the bus on sunny open roads, so we take our time (two days) to get there.

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Driving toward Lee Vining.
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Driving on the Western open roads will never lose its appeal.
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Funny sign along the way.
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Oregon Stateline.
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Camping for the night near Thielsen on our way to Eugene, OR.

After a short stop in Eugene, we arrive in Portland and find our friends' house without difficulty. We're even able to park the bus less than a block away!

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On our way to Portland, we spend the day in Eugene, one of the most progressive towns in Oregon.
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Arriving in Portland.
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Parked in front of our friends' house in Portland.
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Biking to downtown Portland.
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Exploring Portland by bike.

We spend a week roaming the streets of Portland, spending wayyy too much time (not to mention money!) at the various climbing shops, cooking huge meals and staying up late, exchanging climbing stories with our friends Radek and Shirley. After a week of this regimen, we feel like hitting the road again. Direction, Index, WA...

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The laid back atmosphere of the downtown market.
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Lucie getting a henna tatoo at the market.
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Alternative transportation near the market.
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Entering Washington state.
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Brought to you by the Republicans...

We spend one evening in Seattle on our way to Index. We have just enough time for a quick stop at REI and Feathered Friends, and a huge bowl of Pho in the Capitol district. We stayed with our friends Clay and Donna last time we were in the city. We won't see them this time... they left for an 18-months round-the-world trip in June and are somewhere in China right now. Feels strange to be back in Seattle without them!

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One of our obligatory stops in Seattle.
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Sign in downtown Seattle. One can always dream...