Oregon – Washington Campervan Road Trip!
We are Francois and Camila from Chile, and together with our 5 month old baby Elena we are excited to tell you about our last adventure in the US! But we will start from before, when in 2018 we started an Instagram account about hiking: Trekking en Chile (@trekking_en_chile). When we started this account, we wanted to show the most beautiful places for going hiking in Chile. Chile has been recognized in the last few years for its wild nature, specially in the south, the Patagonia, with its icon the Torres del Paine trek. My very first important hike was 5 years ago in Yosemite, and since then I never stopped. One year later I decided to go to Torres del Paine, alone. I have waited for many years for the perfect moment to go there, for the perfect group to join me in this adventure. I waited and waited and realized no such “perfect” time will ever exist. I didn’t think twice when the idea came, and when to my airline’s website and book the ticket. From that moment I knew there was no way back! That second hiking trip was so different to my experience in Yosemite, both were spectacular places (actually they both make it every year in the top places for hiking in the world’s lists), and totally different at the same time. Torres del Paine also was a longer trip (5 days compared to 3 in Yosemite). Hiking for us is an important part of our lives, it connect us with nature, with our environment, with us, and with the simple things of life. Hiking help us disconnect in the most effective way, and reset us to come back in our normal life.
When Camila came to my life, I was happy to see that she also enjoyed a lot my same passion. When I asked her to marry me, it was in the summit of a long hike in the swiss alps, looking at the Matterhorn. Our honeymoon, we decided to avoid 5 starts hotels and we went to the Patagonia again, just the 2 of us, and millions of stars. Elena was born soon after all of this, and 2 months after we were already doing some short and easy hikes around the city where we live, Santiago de Chile. We were preparing for our next big adventure, the Oregon – Washington roadtrip!
When Elena was 5 month old, we flew directly to San Francisco, only for 1 night, as the next day we picked up a car and headed directly to Yosemite National Park. It was a 4 hour drive until Porcupine Creek Trailhead, the starting point of the North Dome hike we were planning to make (we used this link to gain more information about the hike). The day before, in San Francisco, we payed a visit to REI and Trader Joes to get the last few supplies we needed for our hiking trip to Yosemite. We started the hike around 11:00 am, I was wearing the big backpack with the tent (yes, this time we were going to camp with Elena for the very first time J), sleeping bags, sleeping pad for the 3 of us, clothes, and even food and cookware. Camila was wearing Elena plus Elena’s essentials.
The hike was 8.8 miles long and with an 600 feet elevation gain, it took us about 4 hours including a few times we stopped to hydrate, eat and take thousand of pictures. We loved every part of the hike, specially the last part with an spectacular view of Half Dome.
It was a privilege to see how Elena enjoyed looking at the trees during all the hike. Spending this time the three of us was magical.
After Yosemite we went directly to Portland and then head to Roamerica. I was very excited because I have never been in a roadtrip like this before. I met Taylor and we had an amazing chat about his entrepreneurial spirit, and how he decided to make the campervans his business and his life. I explained to him our plans in Oregon and Washington and he gave us his best tips of places to visit around. Our van’s name was India and had everything (yes, everything you could imagine was there!) we needed for our adventure.
Our first stop was Silver Falls State Park. We arrived around 7pm, we prepared dinner and then went to sleep. After a few hours driving we just wanted to get some good quality sleep because the next day we planned to hike a little bit.
Next destination was a magnificent waterfall just next to the road: Multnomah Falls. After doing a lot of research on Google we found out that this waterfall is one of the most famous in America! Even tough there was a lot of people there, that didn’t bother us and we stay there some time and took the opportunity to take many pictures. Finally, we continued our drive up to Glenwood where a tiny cabin with the name of Getaway was waiting for us. This place was probably one of the highlights of our trip, in the middle of the woods, with no internet, no phone, no tv. Super simple and quiet, a perfect place to relax and recover from many days travelling…
In the next few days I can say we did some of the very best hikes of our lives. First in Leavenworth, very close to Colchuck Lake, and then north at North Cascades. I have seen this places in movies before and was really excited to finally have the chance to see them with my eyes. And not only the destination was amazing, while we were driving I had to stop many times to take pictures or to only enjoy the view of the mountains, the rivers, the forest…
Today, after almost 5 months of this trip, we are already missing to be there again, all the places we visited, the people we met, the food, the atmosphere… Thank you Roamerica for making this trip a lifetime trip!!!
Francois, Camila and Elena J