Before we left for Japan, a friend and I drove our car up the coast to leave it with Ezra’s family in the Pacific Northwest. Because we had a 10 month old in tow, we planned to not do more than 7 hours of driving a day, breaking up our travels with visits to friends and tourist sites. I was going to write some on keeping a baby occupied in the car, but we really didn’t have any issues with that!
We took each day in 2-3 hour chunks. Usually I nursed S and then we got on the road about 30 minutes before nap time. She’d drift off (sometimes with a little help from A) and often sleep for 2 hours (which we almost never get at home!). When she woke up and started getting cranky, or it was meal time for us, we’d stop and use the restroom/get gas/lunch/let the baby wiggle.
I was so thankful and relieved it all went so smoothly because this summer our longer drives were hit and miss and I often ended up having to pump and give her a bottle to get her to sleep, which was fine when I was a passenger but harder if I was driving.
It was also my first road trip driving and road trip of that length. Ezra had some sermons and books on CD from one of his cross-country drives a few years ago, so we listened to some sermons and Brothers Karamazov in between playing with S and talking ourselves. And laughing. Always lots of laughter with A. She flew out of Portland and then I made the drive through Eastern Washington on my own, but again, by God’s grace it was very smooth.
Tuesday: we drove into San Francisco. Got chowder, watched the sea lions, climbed Telegraph Hill for views, and came back down to explore the rest of the embarcadero. It was fun, and the only traffic we got stuck in was construction-related and then the line for the toll at Bay Bridge.
Wednesday: into the Redwoods! We drove along 101, slipped off for Avenue of the Giants, and then meandered around a bit trying to find the place to hike I had chosen that we couldn’t find the trailhead for, so we gave up and pulled over to a random grove to explore and recharge before continuing our drive towards Portland. We stayed the night in a hotel as planned, about 2 hours outside of Corvallis. 7 hours driving as far as distance goes, but it was about 8.5 with all our wanderings. Worth it, though, to be in these magnificent trees!
“The groves were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them,—ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back”
“The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
Should we, in the world’s riper years, neglect
God’s ancient sanctuaries…”
Only among the crowd, and under roofs,
That our frail hands have raised?”
“Let me, at least,
Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn—thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in His ear. ”
Poem: excerpts from A Forest Hymn, William Cullen Bryant.
I stayed Monday night with Ezra’s grandparents. In the morning, Great-Grandpa took S out to pick crab apples. 😉
Tuesday I finished the drive to the Seattle area, where I stayed for a little under a week, seeing family.
Total driving: 35 hours planned, + 1.5 meandering in Redwoods, 2 to see a friend in WA, and maybe 2 in traffic.