Unplanned Road Trips

Categories Places with a Story
Unplanned Oregon Coast trip.

It has been a winter to remember all around the US this year, and here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we were no exception. We saw unprecedented snow, and freezing cold temperatures. February hit us especially hard for our area of the country. I know we don’t have much to complain about compared to the Central and Eastern US, but it was definitely out of the norm for us.

We are really glad we did the right thing, and had Ramblin RV winterized. The cost is well worth the peace of mind, when those low temps show up. Most of the country has been dealing with unusual, and crazy weather patterns. But now that Spring seems to be arriving, we are excited to make our Ramblin RV road trip plans for this year. Or, somewhat planned “unplanned” road trips.

It’s so hard to make a specific plan, so we tend to carve out an area on the map that we want explore, then make plans as we go. I know that can be risky, for reservations in RV Parks, but most of the time, we end up in a beautiful setting.

A Historical Mining Town

We love old mining towns, or ghost towns, and the historical tales. One of our favorite places, was the ghost town of Bannack, Montana. It was not in our plans, but was an unexpected treasure of mining history in the region.. It’s now actually Bannack State Park. We took that trip via car, before we purchased our Leisure Unity MB motor home, but it was so memorable, I wanted to mention it.

Bannack has quite an intriguing history, filled with ghosts of gold miners, in search of their fortunes, an outlaw sheriff, and rogue agents that robbed the miners of their gold. The sheriff was eventually brought to the gallows by a group of citizen vigilantes. To learn more about this interesting ghost town, click here, and if you get a chance to visit, it’s well worth the time. There is about 2 miles of fine gravel road to Bannack, but it’s an easy drive.

You can tour several of the old buildings, such as the old hotel, which has been rumored to actually be haunted. I must admit, that walking up the creaky stairs, into one of the rooms, gave me the chills, and a distinct uneasy feeling. Was it just me, or was there a presence there? I don’t know, but I sort of hurried back downstairs, to reunite with my husband, who was sitting on the old porch bench, outside the hotel.

We walked over to the jail, which I’m sure had seen many residents, in it’s day. My husband posed for a photo outside the old jail, role playing outlaw. Then to the school house, where there was an old wooden merry go-round, and I could picture the towns children, playing and laughing, as they spun around in dizziness. As I peered in the windows of the school, the desks were perfectly arranged, and I imagined their teacher trying to hold their attention, at the front of class.

Of course, we had to go into the Saloon, where we bellied up to the old bar, pretending to to be a part of its history. In the corner was a piano that must have drawn the townspeople in with its enticing music. The secrets this place must hold!

Unexpected Coastal Finds

On another trip along the Oregon Coast, we ended up stumbling upon one of the most beautiful beaches on the Oregon Coast. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 50 years, and I go to the Oregon Coast nearly every year. This is a good example how you can get into a rut, by visiting the same areas over and over again.

We needed a place to stay, and everything along Highway 101 was booked. I saw Cape Kiwanda RV Resort on my map, which I had never been to, so I called them. And much to my surprise, they had one space left, so we took it. The drive into Cape Kiwanda fools you into thinking you are heading away from the ocean, but when you arrive you realize you are in paradise! Well, actually, you are in Pacific City, Oregon. We now have a new, favorite place.

Apparently it is quite popular among surfers, and beach goers. Cape Kiwanda RV Resort is right across the street from he beach, for that sunset walk. They also have a fantastic Marketplace offering, gifts, gadgets, gourmet treats, and more. But that’s not all, an indoor pool and spa is also available. To top it off, enjoy a cold beer, and pizza at Doryland Pizza. I have posted a few photos on our facebook page that I took while we were there, and some of Cape Kiwanda webcam videos. It was one of our favorite discoveries.

Last year we landed in, what I refer to, as the enchanted forest. Once again, we ventured off the main road to find Casey’s Riverside RV Park, snuggled in the woods, along the Willamette River, in Central Oregon. We stayed there for 3 days, it was so peaceful, with a cool breeze whispering through the trees, and the river gently meandering through the mountains. A road trip may still be planned, as long as we include a few unplanned side trips. Getting lost once in awhile can also lead to some wonderful surprises.

Unplanned Road Trips (south)

Where will this years unplanned road trips take us? All I know at this point is that we will be heading southward, in search of ghost towns, mining towns, unforgettable scenery, and fun in the sun!

Whatever we discover, I will be sharing it on this blog. Will it be Spring flowers in the desert? Or mesmerizing red rock formations, raging water falls, or old ghost towns, with a story to tell?

My name is Bonnie, and my husband and I recently purchased our first RV for our love of long drives and nature. We're learning as we go, but we'd love to swap RV travel stories, so please drop us a line or comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

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