Pacific Northwest Road Trip

Rachelle and I are planning a 3-week road trip to the Pacific Northwest (USA and Canada). We’ll be leaving from Las Vegas sometime next week.

We’ll begin by driving north to Reno, then west through Sacramento to San Francisco, north to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and east to Calgary. Rachelle will be doing her play in Calgary on October 8th (one performance only), after which she’ll return to Winnipeg for another show. Then I’ll return solo to Vegas, visiting Salt Lake City on the way home.

We’ll probably stay in downtown Reno for one night only, then head to San Francisco the next day. We might stop in Sacramento for a meal along the way, but I don’t expect we’ll stay the night there. I’d like to spend a few days each in the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.

Our only significant constraint is that we have to be in Calgary by October 7th at the latest. Otherwise we have some flexibility in how we do the trip.

I’ve never done an extended road trip before, nor has Rachelle. This is something we both wanted to do for the experience. The timing works well for our schedules, and the weather should be nice at this time of year.

My car has only 5500 miles on it, so this trip will add a few thousand more.

I’ve been to Reno once before, and I’ve been to the Bay Area many times, including living there from 1989 to 1991, so I know some cool things to do in those cities. But this will be my first time ever visiting Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, and Salt Lake City, so I’d love some suggestions on what to go/see/do in those cities, including where to stay and potentially interesting stops along the way. We have a place to stay in Calgary, but we still need to make arrangements for the rest of the trip.

I’m not planning to travel-blog about the trip. I tried doing that for my 3-week Canada trip earlier this year, but I found it tedious and uninspired, and the feedback was a bit ho-hum too, so I don’t see much value in doing that again. I may still blog along the way if I feel inspired to write, but I’d rather blog about personal growth topics and use trip stories to illustrate points only if it seems to fit. Otherwise I prefer to focus on experiencing the trip as opposed to documenting it.

Have you ever gone on a road trip? If so, what advice would you have for us? Did you enjoy the experience?