Seattle to Phoenix In 7 Days
My girlfriend Kacey and I flew to Seattle to see if an old Subaru could take us 2,500 miles. Earlier that week I made a list of used cars that looked ok from Craigslist and Autotrader. When we arrived I called the first one on my list. Which happened to be the one that we bought. I decided on a Subaru Forester, due to their reputation for being safe, reliable, and fuel efficient. All in all, their reputation was mostly true. The rest of the trip we loosely planned with Air BnB and hotels.
Day one: Seattle
Foggy arrival into Phoenix. Delta doing their usual excellent job!
My “What have I just gotten myself into” face.
Getting beamed up by a spacey needle in Seattle.
A leisurely drive through Mount Rainier National Park yields amazing views!
Our roadtrip car, 2006 Subaru Forester.
Mount Rainier National Park isnt just about Mount Rainier. The whole park is truly mind blowing.
The summit, finally showing behind the clouds.
Driving out of the park and headed to Portland for the night. Took roughly 5 hours and it was a absolutely beautiful drive.
Our first Air BnB was in the “Jetsons House”. Our host sadly wasnt there but left nice detailed instructions on how to get in and what to do. It was a super cool place!
Waking up the next morning, we got to see the house in the daylight. Love the aesthetic! Click HERE to book!
Day Two: Portland to Florence, OR
After getting everything sorted at the Jetsons house we departed for a snobby coffee shop experience in downtown Portland. If your looking for an opulent caffeine experience, Stumptown in Portland cant be beat. The coffee is about the same price as Starbucks but its in another league. Combine that with the hipster people watching and your in for a fun time.
Our lattes at Stumptown
Nothing better than amazing coffee when your tired!
Our next stop was Bridal Veil falls. A short easy hike, and pretty easy to get soaked. Definitely hike it out to the back of the falls.
After Bridal Veil, we headed to Opal Creek to go freeze our butts off and jump into some cold mountain pools. As you can see from the image above we were worried.
The hike to get here was about 5 miles round trip. Its uphill on the way there and downhill on the way back. If I had to guess Id say the water is about 50 degrees. Its so cold that when you get in its actually painful. Still, a hilarious experience.
Kacey was more brave than I was, and just jumped in.
Kacey warming up in the sun
After our cold dip at Opal Creek, we headed for the coast. Words cannot describe how beautiful the west coast is. Dark sand beaches, massive waves, and golden sunsets.
An average overlook on the Pacific Coast Highway in southern Oregon.
Searching for Thors Well at Cape Perpetua, OR
The tide was low at the cape so we went down to get some water wall pics.
Day Three: Florence to Medford, OR
Over our trip we started noticing a smell of burning coolant coming from the engine of our roadtrip car. So rather than blindly go onward we stopped in at a local repair shop to see where the leak was coming from.
Our poor steed getting inspected. Turns out the shop had no idea what they were talking about and told me the radiator was leaking. It was actually the water pump we later found out. None the less, we bought some coolant and carried on to Crater Lake, OR
Kacey at the first lookout we came to at Crater Lake.
We walked out to the edge of a cliff, where I was just about freaking out from the height.
After Crater Lake we headed down to our next Air BnB in Medford.
Our awesome accommodations in Medford, OR. Click HERE to book!
There are massive dandelions on the farm!
Andrew our Air BnB host even had some majestic chickens
Day Four: Medford to Eureka, CA
Kacey getting brave
Right before I got drenched
Honeymoon suite in Eureka, CA. Definitely not worth the money… After a bit of stressful car issues we stopped at the first hotel we found. After some talking with the guy behind the desk he informed me that the “Honeymoon Suite” was only 30 dollars more! So I laughed and thought, how hilarious could this be? Turns out, not very funny. It was actually kind of depressing. Similar to when you spend money on something and quickly realize that it wasn’t remotely worth it.
After coming to terms that our $30 upgrade was pretty terrible we decided to immediately leave and get as far as we could from it. We ended up walking down a beach for a few miles. This really helped us get back to our senses. We laughed about the room, and carried on.
Day Five: Eureka – Medford – San Francisco
We left Eureka and headed back to Medford to pick up our car. The Subaru dealer had sorted the water pump leak and said we were all good to go and had no more issues! On the way back we decided to hit some of the sights along the PCH.
Our loaner car from the Subaru dealer.
Fording rivers with our loaner car! Headed down the 8 mile crazy road to Fern Valley.
Checking out Fern Valley.
Kacey hugging trees because when in Oregon, why not!
Ferns in Fern Valley
We picked up the car at the Subaru dealer excited that our problems were over. Everything was fine until we started to go up Grants Pass. The second we started going uphill the car started to get hot again. Very frustrated I called the Subaru dealer and his response was “that sucks, its probably head gaskets”. I ran through a million situations in my head, calling on my car mechanic experience and it just didnt sound right. Cars with blown head gaskets would run rough and overheat just sitting still. This was more of a flow issue to me. After thinking more about it for a bit, I said screw this, were limping this car home. We cranked the heat with the windows down and pressed on. The temps managed to stay close to normal through the mountain pass thankfully.
Mount Shasta, headed down to San Francisco
Crossing the bridge to San Francisco
Made it to San Francisco! Many calories were burned in the making of this picture.
Exploring the touristy bits at Fishermans Wharf
Alcatraz viewed from the city
Golden Gate bridge
What do you call a seagull that flies over the bay? A Bagel!
What 35 million bucks gets you a long time ago!
Offroading in the Subaru! I kept a close watch on the coolant level and it seemed to be stable, which made me feel much better that the head gaskets werent leaking. The only thing left was the radiator could be clogged. Which after we got home, I found to be true. So I pushed the car a little and we got more adventurous. We were on vacation after all!
Driving through the golden fields between San Francisco and Los Angeles
Kacey driving us to Los Angeles
After leaving L.A. Our car troubles really took a turn for the worse. It started overheating even on level ground at highway speeds. Getting across the desert seemed to be quite the insurmountable challenge. Temps go high above 100 by late morning and stay there until well after midnight. So we left as early as we could to try and get as close to Phoenix as possible before the sun cooked us. We managed to make it all the way home by drinking alot of water and cranking the heat. Fast forward a few days, after a water pump, and radiator replacement the car is fine. Lesson learned here… Go on an epic roadtrip… but buy a Toyota. Even though the issues werent Subaru related, and were caused by the dimwit who previously owned the car (putting cooling system stop leak in it) Old Toyota’s have a ridiculous track record. And doing this road trip without a decade of mechanic experience behind me would have been more stressful than I can imagine. Thanks for reading!
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