On the Road Again Soon

Posted on June 10, 2014 by Holly Hayes
Part of: Olympic Peninsula Road Trip

Hello! Long time, no see. I am finally emerging, blinking in the sunlight, from a long winter hunched over the computer. I'm sorry I haven't posted to the blog for so long, but I needed to focus on developing the core of Go Historic for awhile. A whole lot still remains to be done, but it's summertime, and that means travel time!

{ph138898|The new "Go Historic mobile," waiting patiently in my rainy driveway in Portland. Oh, the places we'll go!

Road Trip(s)!

Most of the trips chronicled on this blog involve a painfully long airplane trip across the Atlantic, but it's time for something different. I'm ready to explore a little more of my own country's history and architecture. So get ready for less medieval cathedrals and a whole lot more covered bridges and lighthouses!

My first main journey in the great U.S. of A. will be a fairly short road trip to Washington State, starting this Sunday. The first day's drive will be from Portland to my aunt's house in West Seattle, but no nasty Interstate 5 for me! Instead I'll take a longer scenic route along the Columbia River and Pacific Coast, then a short ferry across Puget Sound. In between: a whole lot of forest.

After a couple of days visiting with my aunt, I plan to head north to historic Port Townsend, then west around the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, returning to Portland along the coast. My two main goals are to photograph as many historic places as I can and stay in historic lodgings as much as possible! Beyond that basic itinerary, I plan to play it by ear, but the whole trip will probably be less than a week.

New Travel Gear

Looking over my old posts, I apparently tend to start new trip blogs with an overview of gear and packing - might as well keep up that tradition. And this year I do have a major addition to report. After almost a decade of sharing a car with my husband, last month I bought my very own car that is perfect for road trips!

It's an Audi A3, which just came out this year so it took some effort to find the one with just the options I wanted. But the great folks at Sunset Audi nabbed this one for me right off the boat in the port at Houston! (Fun fact: all European cars bound for the western U.S. arrive in Houston.)

This lovely little car is small and maneuverable but comfortable and safe (IIHS+ safety rating, same as the Volvo S60 I almost bought), has All-Wheel Drive in case of adverse weather, is under warranty for 40,000 miles, has a great navigation system and trunk space, and gets 33 mpg highway. It also goes from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds, which is really fun, plus sporty seats and sport driving modes - so I might not always be getting the maximum mpg.

So far, its longest trip has been to Salem (taking the scenic route, of course), and I just wanted to keep going - California! Arizona! FLORIDA! But we'll start with Washington, which is lovely, too - after all, it's a lot like Oregon! And there's plenty of it I haven't seen, despite visiting family in the Seattle area for most of my life.

Another major addition to the travel gear is a new digital camera. My previous model was a Canon 5D Mark II, which I really love but have put a lot of miles on over the years and sometimes it acts up a little (such as shutting off suddenly, requiring the battery to be removed briefly before it's happy again) so I'm beginning to worry about its reliability. Also, as always, technology has advanced significantly in the few years since I bought it and I'd love to take advantage of the improvements.

The successor of the 5D Mark II is the 5D Mark III, which looks fantastic, but holy cow is it expensive. I was ready to make the investment if absolutely needed for professional-quality photos, but thankfully, after doing a lot of careful research, I believe the cheaper Canon 6D is actually the better choice for me.

The 6D has almost all the capabilities of the 5D Mark III, and the ones it doesn't have are mostly action-oriented features I don't usually need (since buildings are so good about standing still). And unlike the Mark III, the 6D has built-in geotagging, which I've been wanting FOREVER, plus built-in Wi-Fi for quicker sharing, and it's lighter and smaller - all for over $1,000 less. Hoorah!

And finally, since I'd like to have the option of camping (probably in the car) if no suitable historic lodgings are available on a particular night, I added a basic sleeping bag, camp chair, and various other outdoorsy supplies from REI to the travel gear.

The Junk in the Trunk
All the gear, all together. Note to would-be thieves who also read historical travel blogs: pretty much none of this will stay in the car.

OK, that's enough about gear already. Let's hit the road! In addition to here on the Go Historic Blog, you can follow my travels at Instagram, Facebook, and Flickr.