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Advice for Trip To the States

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by Faceplant » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:35 pm

Hey Wind Junkies. Been taking a bit of a break from widsports to pursue other activities, but we are heading down to Mazanita next week and we have 10 days to explore. We are looking for a place to camp on Saturday next week. Then we have 4 nights booked at Nehelam State park. For the next 4 nights I'm looking for a suggestion.
Ideas I have so far are,
1-Florence
2-Hood River
3-Rufus

Any tips greatly appreciated.

We are tenting
Wife loves trail running, so a spot near trails is great (for her)
Have a kick butt 4x4 so we can get out on the beach
Free camping or inexpensive camping preferred.

Thanks y'all
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by BigD » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:48 pm

We've started going south to Hood River via the snoqulomie pass instead of taking the I5. Not exactly on the way to Nehalem but waay less of a traffic shit show.
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by grantmac » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:43 pm

I90 down to The Dalles then HR is a very nice route.
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by Brian C » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:57 pm

Skip Rufus if your wife is with you: it's a dust bowl/hot gravel pit to camp in with zero amenities, and the wind that far out east is a gamble. Save it for a solo trip.

Hood River area has tons of things for your wife to do, including beautiful trail running in the Post Canyon area. Not much free camping but Tucker's for $20/night is pretty nice, and it's away from all the highway and train noise. If you are on the Washington side there is also very nice free camping at milepost 4 on the road up the Klikitat River (from the west end of Lyle). Lots of nice trails in that area of the Gorge (esp Catherine Creek area) too. The camping is on the Klikitat River (very nice, and quite quiet) but there's only pit toilets. Also you need a Wa State Discovery Pass there ($35/year, available at the market on the Wa end of the Hood River Bridge, and in many Safeway stores in Wa State).
If you plan to go to the Gorge more than once, I highly recommend the Curious Gorge book available in the Hood River book store downtown, and a few other local shops. It is loaded with info on great hikes and attractions throughout the whole Columbia Gorge Scenic Corridor.
If you drive the I5, I recommend that you leave Vancouver about 630 pm and drive at night as far as you can stand to go, and be sure to get south of Olympia before you stop for the night. The morning drive south of there is no hassle, but the stretch from Everett all the way to Olympia is horrible during morning and afternoon rush periods (most of the day!). Otherwise I agree with the advice to take the scenic eastern route through Yakima, but be careful of the Bellevue stretch of the I90 during rush periods too.
BTW, the southern Washington coast (south of Olympia) is beautiful and uncrowded compared to the Oregon Coast. Well worth the slower trip home that way.
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by telus022420 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:15 am

https://freecampsites.net/#!HOOD%20RIVER,Oregon

Apply due diligence, be aware that there could be high demand.
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by Roxstock » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:44 pm

I just got back from doing the same trip in reverse, we went from Vancouver to Osoyoos to Leavenworth to Hood River to Cannon beach and back up the coast. We stayed at tucker park campground in Hood and I would recommend it. I heard that there is a nice free campsite at Roosevelt with good kiting but we never made it up there to check it out. Kited at Manzanita and loved it and stayed at Sea Ranch RV park in Cannon beach, it's a nice campground walking distance to the town center and beach but on the pricy side at $40 US a night.

Jones Beach is a nice spot to kite too but I don't think you can camp there.

Let me know what you think of Nehalem campground, I'm thinking of trying that place out next time.
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by Slappy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:02 pm

Roxstock wrote:Let me know what you think of Nehalem campground


It's a really nice spot, but not much tree cover. You can kite a short walk from your camp site if you like Manzo style conditions. I'd pick Fort Stevens over it for kite camping.

One area I'd definitely hit up if I had a beefy 4x4 is Seashore Conservation Area State Park
https://goo.gl/maps/eEkPy5rAgfNXU7mF9

It's just free camping on the beach but I think it has really good potential for both surfing and kitesurfing. It's also 1 hr shorter drive so a good stopping point.

I don't know how much time you have and how far you want to go but if you want something a bit different Bend, OR is 100% worth a few days. The green wave at the whitewater park is super fun and only 2 hr past Hood River:
https://www.bendbulletin.com/outdoors/webcams

I would also recommend doing a rafting trip on the Deschutes out of Maupin, OR, only 1 hr south of HR.

I've done the hwy 97 drive through Yakima and while it is different you should be aware that it's a whole different world. You will pass through sections where there is 0 cell reception for 2 hours and it's a hot high dessert climate if you break down you're screwed. There can also be 1-2 hour road closures throughout Snoqualmie in the summer. Yup they just shut down the whole fucking road in both directions.

I would only recommend taking the hwy 97 route if you are doing it for scenic reasons, not worth it for time savings. It's definitely an interesting part of the world. Washington state cowboys and Yakima Nation melting pot, kinda feels like going back in time.
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by ZeroR2 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:44 pm

I can't give you much advice where to camp, because I stay at Airbnb or Hotel's in the Hoodriver area. Avoid at all cost I-5. This time I took a very interesting route home from Hoodriver via Trout Lake to Randle on the 141 and the NF 23. Somewhere close to Mt. Adams it will turn into a gravel road. This time I didn't have my AWD. We used our sedan. My wife was worried that our car would fall apart, but it really wasn't that bad (IMO). I highly recommend going that route. After Randle she wanted to get back to normal roads. I would have gone another alternative road, close to Mt. Rainer (123). I normally go down via the 2 & 97 (scenic view=longer distance). Stay far away from the Seattle area or go by night. It is never worth it. Good luck.
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by Faceplant » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:54 pm

What's the traffic thru Seattle around noon on a Saturday?
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by ZeroR2 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:27 pm

Faceplant wrote:What's the traffic thru Seattle around noon on a Saturday?


My experience is that the traffic is always bad. It starts 30-40 min. north of Seattle and might end after Tacoma. I have had terrible traffic going thru Portland. Maybe I am unlucky. Now I only take roads around the 2 cities. I would rather be in a car for 1 more hour, than in stop and go traffic. I couldn't imagine how exhausted I would be with my 6 speed manual car. Others might chime in and have a different experience. I will say that I did go once to a ball game in Seattle and waited some time. The traffic cleared up. So, maybe after 9 PM it gets better.
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