2017 Travel Journal

A reverse chronological travel listing:

For other years travel journals: Current, 2029, 2019, 2018

29Dec-30Dec2017 Steveston Richmond BC

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 65, Months: 2.1

Last minute decision to get out of the house as the weather is cold with heavy rain. Turned on the Espar D2 heater earlier in the day to 24 Celsius. Same temperature in Discovery as in Hawaii today.

Overnight spot on Bayview Street, facing eastbound on a fairly level parking spot. There are no overnight restrictions here.

GPS Coordinates: 49.123177, -123.177861

Steveston Overnight Spot

Steveston Parking Spot

15Dec-17Dec2017 Leavenworth Festival of Lights, Stevens Pass Summit

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 63, Months: 2.1

Running Michelin LTX AT2 light truck tires which performed very well in snow and wet conditions. Purchased in early December 2017 to replace the stock Kumho tires at the 36,000km mark. The Michelins perform much better, in that they grip very well, have much stronger sidewalls allowing for the Sprinter to easily stay in the lane in heavy winds and not wander.

Stevens Pass Summit

Stevens Pass Summit

Stevens Pass Summit

Stevens Pass Summit

Leavenworth Christmas Light Festival

In Leavenworth, slept in two different places on this trip. From November to March of each year, it is illegal to park on the road from 3am to 6am in many places within Leavenworth.

Overnight spot:

Along the street behind the new Hampton Inn and Suites, there are no parking restrictions in this area and very safe and quiet.

GPS Coordinates: 47.597106, -120.643808

116 River Bend Dr, Leavenworth, WA 98826, USA 116 River Bend Dr, Leavenworth, WA 98826, USA

Overnight spot:

In the gravel parking lot to the right of Brenders Autobody and Glass. The spot under the tree or up against the rock wall is good.

GPS Coordinates: 47.596233, -120.659126

South-east corner of 10th St & Edelweiss Weg Leavenworth, WA 98826 USA

South-east corner of 10th St & Edelweiss Weg Leavenworth, WA 98826 USA

08Dec-10Dec2017 - Day trips to Stanley park night train and Vancouver Christmas market.

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 63, Months: 2.1

Vancouver Christmas Night Market

01Dec-03Dec2017 - Angel of the Winds Casino, Mountain Loop Highway

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 61, Months: 2.0

One of the favourite places to stay overnight is on the casino parking lot at Angel of the Winds in Arlington, WA. They brew their own beer on site, they have very high speed Internet, free coffee and non-alcoholic beverages, and a wonderful buffet and gaming area. It is also very quiet and safe at night, and makes for a great sleep.

GPS Coordinates: 48.211285, -122.187788 Angel of the Winds Map

The Mountain Loop Highway begins in Granite Falls, WA, passes through Bedal, Darrington, Arlington and back to Granite Falls. Parts of the road are closed during the winter season, and other parts are unpaved.

Mountain Loop

The loop is 95 miles long, and offers many opportunities for hiking and camping along the route.

Along the Mountain Loop Highway at Deer Creek there is a snow park, deep in the Snoqualmie Mount Baker National Forest. Here you can camp for up to 14 days in dispersed camping areas such as this parking lot. There is an outdoor washroom at the entrance to the parking lot. There is a forest service road that runs up into the mountains from this spot, and 4x4 or similarly equiped vehicles can only drive on the road as it is extremely bumpy.

Mountain Loop Highway Deer Creek

Mountain Loop Highway Deer Creek Campfire

Mountain Loop Highway Deer Creek Sign

Overnight spot:

GPS Coordinates: 48.085163, -121.552699

Mountain Loop Highway Deer Creek Map

24Nov-26Nov2017 Anacortes, Seattle, Angel of the Winds Casino

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 59, Months: 1.9

Seattle Public Market

Seattle Gum Wall in Post Alley

An overnight stay in Anacortes WA.

Anacortes WA

Anacortes WA

15Oct2017 Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham WA

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 59, Months: 1.9

Another beautiful place on the west coast.

Squalicum Harbor, WA

08Oct-09Oct2017 Othello tunnels in Hope, BC and Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 57, Months: 1.9

Within the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park are the Othello Tunnels, open from April to end of October each year. In the early 1900s, the Canadian Pacific Railway decided a route was necessary to link the Kootenay Region with the BC coast by rail. The railway was built over three mountain ranges. In the Coquihalla Gorge – the river cut a 300 foot deep channel of solid granite. A straight line of tunnels were built through it which are known now as the Othello Tunnels. There are spectacular viewing opportunities available on the trail, through the tunnels and on the bridges. This park highlights the Kettle Valley Railway grade that passes through the canyon and 5 tunnels which were built in 1914.

Othello Tunnels, Hope, BC

Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs, BC

07Oct2017 Stanley Park Vancouver, BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 57, Months: 1.9

Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

29Sep-01Oct2017 Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 55, Months: 1.8

Beer. Live Music. Brats. Leavenworth Octoberfest

Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest

Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest

Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest

Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest

Overnight Spot

Just outside of the village, on Icicle Creek Road along the Icicle River in the Wenatchee National Forest, there are several road-side pullouts where you can stay safely overnight. During the spring and summer, the roar of the river can keep you up at night (or help you fall asleep!). In the late fall, when the snow melt is less, the river is much quieter.

GPS Coordinates: 47.541648, -120.722257

Leavenworth, WA Octoberfest

22Sep-24Sep2017 Steveston Richmond BC, Deep Cove, North Vancouver BC

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 53, Months: 1.7

Richmond BC

After a day spent in Richmond and the pier, an overnight spot was found on Bayview Street, facing eastbound on a fairly level parking spot. There are no overnight restrictions here.

GPS Coordinates: 49.123177, -123.177861

Steveston Overnight Spot

Deep Cove, North Vancouver BC

After a day spent in Deep Cove, BC an overnight spot was found near the Bridge Brewing Company.

After enjoying some craft brews, slept in Discovery in this spot. Quiet industrial area with very little traffic.

GPS Coordinates: 49.309693, -123.032593

Overnight spot near Bridge Brewing

15Sep-16Sep2017 Glacier WA, Mount Baker WA

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 52, Months: 1.7

Spent the night on the parking lot of Chair 9 Pizza and Bar in Glacier, WA. There is lodge called Blue-T Lodge which shares the same parking lot. That night 4 other Sprinters were parked on the lot. Discovery fit right in. Absolutely dead quiet during the night, as it is near the entrance of the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.

Mount Baker, WA

Mount Baker, WA

10Sep2017 Cascade Falls Regional Park BC, Harrison Hot Springs BC Day Trip

Day trip to Cascade Falls Regional Park BC.

Cascade Falls Regional Park, BC

and to Harrison Hot Springs BC.

Harrison Hot Springs, BC

09Sep2017 North Vancouver BC, Vancouver BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 52, Months: 1.7

Shopping in North Vancouver, BC. Inexpensive sushi dinner in downtown Vancouver BC at Yamato Sushi. Very good inexpensive sushi. 22 piece sushi, miso soup and tea for under $7 Canadian.

Yamato Sushi in Vancouver BC

01Sep-04Sep2017 Anacortes WA

Nights This Trip: 3, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 49, Months: 1.6

02Aug-27Aug2017 8,000km Road Trip through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Alberta, BC

Nights This Trip: 25, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 24, Months: 0.8

The idea of this trip was to see many of the National Parks in several states, to travel the side routes and remain off the Interstates as much as possible. The main goals of the trip were to see the Craters of the Moon, geysers in Yellowstone National Park, Pikes Peak, Rocky Mountains, Columbia Icefields and everything in-between. Finding a place to stay each night was rarely a problem.

03Aug2017 Day 2 Map

Unity Oregon National Park Campsite

04Aug2017 Day 3 Map

Craters of the Moon Camping Spot

  • Day 4 - Saturday 05Aug2017 Drove 395km for 4h44m from Craters of the Moon Idaho, ID to West Yellowstone, MT and stayed on the side of road by an empty corner lot right across from an RV park at D Parkway and North Electric Street. GPS Coordinates 44.664828, -111.104471. Stayed in this same spot for two nights in a row after exploring Yellowstone. All Yellowstone park campgrounds were full.

05Aug2017 Day 4 Map

West Yellowstone Overnight Camping Spot

  • Day 5 - Sunday 06Aug2017 Drove 57.8km 1h2m from West Yellowstone MT to West Thumb Geyser Basin, saw many geysers and hot springs, and then headed back to the same overnight spot in West Yellowstone since all the campgrounds were full, and it is prohibited in any National Park to camp in a non-camping designated area including the Visitor Centre parking lots. Google does not show the complete path properly since there was no cellular signal through many parts of the park.

06Aug2017 Day 5 Map

  • Day 6 - Monday 07Aug2017 Drove 78.6km 56m (from West Yellowstone, counter-clockwise around the entire Yellowstone loop) and then back to the same spot for a third night in West Yellowstone. The Google Map is incorrect so it is not included here.

Yellowstone National Park

Points of interest:

Freight Road

Fountain Paint Pot Nature Trail

Biscuit Basin

Black Sand Basin

Old Faithful

Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone Park Service Stations

West Thumb Geyser Basin

West Thumb - Information Station

Mud Volcano

Artist Point

Upper Falls of the Yellowstone

Liberty Cap, Dormant Hot Spring Cone

Mammoth Hot Springs

Norris Geyser Basin

Norris Geyser Basin Museum

Using the USA National Park Pass, entrance to the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center in Jensen UT is free, and includes a bus ride into the quarry and into the building that preserves the bones in the mountainside.

Dinosaur Monument

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

21Jul-24Jul2017 Mount Rainer, Mount Hood, Portland OR

Nights This Trip: 3, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 21, Months: 0.7

07Jul-09Jul2017 Anacortes WA, Whidbey Island WA

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 19, Months: 0.6

First overnight spot in Anacortes is right next to Burrows Pass close to the marina. Very quiet, nice cool and fresh seabreeze.

Overnight Spot GPS Coordinates: 48.492642, -122.687345

Anacortes Overnight Map

Second overnight spot was along the road close to the Keystone Ferry Landing right next to Fort Casey. Here people stay overnight in their vehicles waiting for the next ferry in the morning. Very quiet with hardly any traffic overnight, and just the sound of the ferry horn arriving in the morning.

GPS Coordinates: 48.160425, -122.673901

Keystone Ferry Landing Overnight Spot

01Jul-03Jul2017 Seaside OR, Cannon Beach OR

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 17, Months: 0.6

23Jun-25Jun2017 Mountain Loop Highway WA

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 15, Months: 0.5

16Jun-18Jun2017 Leavenworth WA, stayed by the Icicle River then in Leavenworth in town

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 13, Months: 0.4

09Jun-12Jun2017 Anacortes WA, San Juan and Orcas Islands WA

Nights This Trip: 3, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 10, Months: 0.3

Favorite overnight parking spot is right next to Burrows Pass in Anacortes WA close to the marina. Very quiet, nice cool and fresh seabreeze.

Overnight Spot GPS Coordinates: 48.492642, -122.687345

Anacortes Overnight Map

Anacortes Overnight Spot

Anacortes Overnight Spot

First out of three paid campgrounds during 2017. All other overnight stays were at no cost. Orcas Island Moran State Park Camping

San Juan Island

San Juan Island

San Juan Island

02Jun-04Jun2017 Grand Coulee Dam WA, Leavenworth WA

Nights This Trip: 2, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 8, Months: 0.3

Grand Coulee Dam

Grand Coulee Dam

Unlike Hoover Dam, which is extremely tall (726 feet) and 1,244 feet long, Grand Coulee Dam is just 550 feet high, but it’s 5,223 feet long (almost a mile). A low power FM broadcast (at 90.1 on the FM radio dial) of the accompanying music and audio can be heard within the Sprinter. After the evening Grand Coulee Dam laser light show was finished, the overnight spot was found nearby.

Overnight spot GPS Coordinates: 47.938025, -119.003213

Parked on a quiet street overnight, near a school and across from a coffee shop for a morning coffee. Grand Coulee Overnight Street Parking

20May-21May2017 Camano Island WA, Arlington WA

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 7, Months: 0.2

Camano Island State Park, WA

Camano Island State Park, WA

Camano Island State Park, WA

Camano Island State Park, WA

Angel of the Winds Casino Parking, WA

Angel of the Winds Casino 210 Beer Brewery, WA

06May-07May2017 Washington Park, Anacortes WA, Mount Baker, WA

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 6, Months: 0.2

In Washington Park, Anacortes there are parking spots for day-use along the loop road called Washington Park Loop. It is a one-way counter-clockwise road, very narrow in some parts. The Sprinter just fits, and found a narrow spot near Green Point.

Washington Park, Anacortes

Washington Park, Anacortes

Washington Park, Anacortes

Mount Baker, WA with snow higher than the Sprinter!

Mount Baker, WA

Mount Baker, WA

29Apr-30Apr2017 Swinomish Casino, Tulalip Casino area

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 5, Months: 0.2

Overnight spot on the Swinomish Casino and Lodge parking lot. Nice and quiet, and on the Swinomish Reservation lands. There is a paid RV lot in the rear of the casino with hookup capability.

GPS Coordinates: 48.457782, -122.522201

Swinomish Casino, WA

Swinomish Casino, WA

Visited the Mount Vernon Tulip Town area at the tail end of the massive Tulip Festival.

Mount Vernon Tulips, WA

15Apr-16Apr2017 Mountain Loop Highway, Deer Creek WA

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 4, Months: 0.1

14Apr2017 Cypress Mountain, BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 4, Months: 0.1

Day trip over to Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain just north of Vancouver, BC.

Cypress Mountain, Vancouver, BC

08Apr-09Apr2017 Vancouver to Lilouette Loop - Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Lilouette, Pemberton, Whistler BC loop

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 3, Months: 0.1

Vancouver to Lilouette Loop is about 688km in length, and a beautiful drive through the mountains and forests.

Overnight Spot:

Stayed overnight in Cache Creek, on the Husky Gas Station parking lot with permission. Husky Gas stations will typically allow travellers to overnight on their property provided they purchase fuel or other goods. Parked right next to the creek that runs along the property.

GPS Coordinates: 50.804825, -121.324759

Husky Gas Station Parking Spot Overnight, BC

Husky Gas Station Parking Spot Overnight, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

Ashcroft, BC

31Mar-01Apr2017 Angel of the Winds Casino near Tulalip, WA

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 2, Months: 0.1

An overnight stay after consuming a nice variety of fresh beer at Angel of the Winds Casino

Angel of the Winds Casino Parking Lot

Angel of the Winds Beer

25Mar-26Mar2017 Cannon Beach, Portland, Tillamook Cheese Factory OR

Nights This Trip: 1, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Very first long trip to Cannon Beach, Portland and Tillamook Cheese Factory Oregon. Queen sized bed and frame installed, Espar D2 heater installed, reflectix velcro’d to the walls which works great in cold weather, yet melts right off in the heat of summer.

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Visited Mo’s seafood restaurant for dinner in Tolovana Park by Cannon Beach Oregon. Very good food with good Google ratings.

Cannon Beach, Mo's Seafood Restaurant OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Overnight spot

In Tolovana Park, there is no overnight parking allowed. In fact, most of Cannon Beach has no overnight parking posted. Next to Mo’s, there is a motel called the Tolovana Inn with a large parking lot. Late at night moved the Discovery vehicle into one of the motel parking spots, closed the curtains and slept peacefully.

GPS Coordinates: 45.871232, -123.960069

Tolovana Inn Parking Spot, Cannon Beach, OR

When visiting Portland, a great sushi place is Sushi Sakura in Portland Oregon. Sakura Sushi Portland, OR

Felt like sampling some cheese, so a visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory was in order.

Tillamook Cheese Factory, OR

19Mar2017 Whistler BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Day trip to Squamish and Whistler BC.

Squamish, BC

Tantalus Lookout, BC

Whistler, BC

Whistler Village, BC

Enjoying a beer overlooking the ski lifts at Garibaldi Lift Company Bar and Grill in Whistler.

Whistler Village Beer, BC

18Mar2017 Anacortes, Whidbey Island WA Day Trip

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Brought along some cushions, blankets and pillows to sleep on during nap time at noon. First trip with the new Espar D2 heater installed. No insulation yet.

Deception Pass State Park, WA

Deception Pass WA

Visited Coupville, WA.

Coupville WA

Coupville Wharf WA

Visited Clinton, WA after riding the ferry.

Riding the ferry

Riding the ferry

12Mar2017 Steveston, Richmond BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Day trip to Steveston, BC. No photos.

11Mar2017 Seattle WA Day Trip

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Day trip to Seattle WA, brought some cushions and blankets along. Very cold wthout a heater or any insulation - just the bare metal walls. Passed by the Microsoft campus in Redmond WA

Microsoft Campus Redmond WA

Visited the Habit Burger and Grill in Southcenter Seattle. Some good food!

Habit Burger and Grill Southcenter Seattle WA

05Mar2017 Abbotsford, Mission BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Day trip to Abbotsford BC and Mission BC to try out the new Sprinter. Put in some cushions in the back to try relaxing. Very cold without a heater.

Mission, BC

Mission, BC

04Mar2017 Vancouver and Stanley Park, BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Day trip to Vancouver and Stanley Park to try out the new Sprinter.

Lions Gate Bridge Vancouver, BC

03Mar2017 Mercedes-Benz Boundary Vancouver BC

Nights This Trip: 0, Total Nights in 2017 Sleeping in the Van: 1, Months: 0.0

Picked up our brand new Sprinter van today. 32km on the odometer after a short spin around the block.

Mercedes-Benz Boundary Vancouver, BC