Road Trip Update: Canada to California

I'm currently on a 6,000 kilometre road trip from Vancouver, BC down the Pacific Coast, into California, sideways to Nevada, and then up again through Utah, Idaho, and Washington State. I'm joined by my dad as copilot, and we'll be gone for two weeks. The car we've chosen for the adventure is my Speed Yellow 2000 Porsche 911 GT3 Aerokit Cup. Let's motor!

Craft Beer Market on Sunday
Day 1: I welcomed my dad at the airport on Sunday, July 20th around noon. Due to a severe case of jet lag, we immediately decided that it was time for a midday nap. After nap time, we got some fresh air, talked driving routes, and met up with a group of friends for dinner at Craft, situated in the former Olympic Village (2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics). We recharged our batteries with a light dinner (salad, chicken, and several craft beers) in anticipation of a painfully early 4 AM wakeup and what would turn out to be an 18 hour driving day. 

Day 2: It was 4 AM, and the first thirty minutes awake were spent groaning, asking "why?" and rubbing my eyes hoping this was all just a bad dream. No such thing. Time to get going. We stuffed the 911's front trunk with bags (see picture below), and then set our eyes on the conveniently, typically Porsche, rear folding seats that nicely turn into a parcel shelf. After also cramming that crevice with bags, we were satisfied in that we now had zero rear visibility and decided that we were not perfectly prepared and ready to start our road trip. Armed with my Escort Passport 8500 X50 laser and radar detector, we ran for the border at speeds I'll refer to here as "early morning highway speeds." My horrifyingly early wakeup was soon forgotten as we were greater by zero border traffic. 

Our mutual delight unfortunately only lasted a mere 10 seconds because we were soon told to park the car and head inside for retina scans and finger prints. I found this highly necessary in order for us, a Canadian and a Belgian with no criminal records, to enter the land of the free. But it looked like everyone was getting pulled in, presumably since the vast quantity of border officers were bored. After lining up for a solid half an hour worth of valuable driving time, we were back on our way, making mince meat out of the first five hundred kilometres through Washington State.

The goal was to make Portland for lunch, but for some reason or another we pointed to a beautiful city once we entered Oregon, and then 50 kilometres later we all of a sudden realized that that beautiful city was in fact, Portland, Oregon. Luckily we found a rather large outlet mall which allowed us to stop, have a Panini and a soda, and visit a few select stores for some last minute California getup (see picture below). Also note that I'm quite tall in comparison to the height of the 911 (granted, on GT3 ride height sport suspension).
Outlet malls are a great opportunity to stretch the legs and let the Porsche tick cool. 
We hit the road again around 3 PM and blasted down Oregon, through some beautiful canyons which reminded me slightly of the South of France in terms of looks and feel, and perhaps more of the drive from Vancouver to Kelowna in terms of immensely fun high speed twisty roads. But let's for a second talk about fuel consumption. I think of fuel as a means to having fun. And therefore, not exactly an annoying expense. And while the 911 isn't as thirsty of a car as it may look (remember, it only has a flat-six), something was preventing me from filling the tank up all the way. Therefore, it took more than just a few fill-ups (only to the 3/4 mark) to reach our destination. On the bright side, it gave me lots of opportunities to stretch out.  

Our goal was to make Redding, situated about an hour or two inside California and a mere 350 kms from San Francisco, but at around 8 PM it dawned on us that we were quite hungry, and quite tired from staying concentrated in keeping a tail-happy 911 on the straight and narrow through some treacherous rains. We also started to become a bit skeptical of finding a place to rest our heads given that it's mid-summer and Redding is like the Squamish rest stop between Vancouver and Whistler. Our suspicions were confirmed when we stopped at a McDonalds (for the free wifi, I promise) about 120 clicks outside of Redding to make a reservation in any highway hotel that would have us for the night around Redding.

No availability, anywhere. Let this be a lesson, reservations required everywhere at this time of year, even road side Holiday Inns. We eventually got lucky by frantically dialling random numbers and finding a nice lady on the other side of the line who represented "the Baymont Inn," which turned out to be very comfortable and clean. We rolled in around 9:45 in the evening and fell asleep like a bag of bricks. 

Fast driving in hot weather followed by traffic jams result in the above ^
Day 3 Preview: The drive to San Francisco from Redding. Hurricanes (!?). Overheating and bicycles. I'd also like to already add that being back in the Windy City is a great feeling. I love this place. Stay tuned and thanks for visiting!