Crater Lake

August: Follow the coast south

And that makes 5! Five months of travelling, six months since I left my job and Switzerland. August was spend completely in the US. I had my first co-traveler, visited loads of friends and had another van breakdown.

The Good

  • More friends! So good to see people I know and see where they live and what they do (and drink beer with them).
  • The variety: big cities, beautiful mountains and empty (and full) beaches.
  • Seeing the Blue Angels stunt show 5 days in a row without even planning on it
  • The wildlife: Deer, grouse, marmots, mountain goats, sea lions, elephant seals, vultures, turkeys, squirrels and some lobster (dead and cooked).

The Bad

  • Sooooo busy. Tourist season is at its max. Southern California doesn’t just have full campsites, even getting a parking spot to go to the beach is impossible.
  • I maxed out my credit card on car repair and flights home. Because of this I couldn’t go to Mexico yet because I couldn’t pay my Mexican insurance and car deposit. On top of this it was a long weekend in the US (I had planned to be gone before that), which means you need reservations to get a campsite, which I couldn’t get because I didn’t have a credit card. Loads of time wasted looking for places to stay that were not full but not too far off track either.
  • Van breaking down is never a good thing. However, this time I handled it way better doing some debugging myself beforehand and being OK with just having to stay at the garage for three days.

The Unforgettable

  • After days of packed campsites being the only person around except for loads of animals. I saw 2 deer, 4 turkeys and some squirrels on the 10 meter from my van to the restroom (Lake Lopez).
  • Crater Lake: so blue and so hot.

The Stats

  • No days: 31 (152 total)
  • No. km: 5164 (26518 total)
  • Countries: USA
  • States/Provinces: Washington, Oregon, California
  • No. Border crossings: 0
  • No. of places stayed at: 24 (19 campsites, 5 at friends)
  • Hikes: 24 km, 1000m height
  • Books: 1
  • Movies: 1
  • New Beers: 25
  • Photos: 1384
  • Weather:
    • Days: warmest 37 coldest 13, average 26
    • Nights: warmest 21, coldest 9, average 14

I finally managed to drive some less. No more elaborate detouring, partially because I was staying with friends, partially because I was stuck at the garage. Summer is there! No more cold evenings, only shorts and t-shirts from now on.

Daily costs for July

Spending 9 nights at friends was a huge cost saver. Of course this was healthily set off by drinking more beer. Travelling together with Cedric for a week also was a nice way to split costs.

  • Campsites: 19 Euro per night (plan was 25)
  • Food: 11 Euro per day (plan was 12)
  • Fun: 7 Euro per day (plan was 5, few too many beers I guess…)
  • Total: 37 Euro per day (plan was 42)

Overal driving (5 months):
Even though I drove much less than previous months I still drove more than planned. And where I thought that diesel was expensive in British Colombia, well California does a good job at that too.

  • Distance: 25760 (plan was 23862)
  • Fuel costs: 67 cents/l (plan was 67 cents/l)
  • Efficiency: 11.1 km/l (plan was 10.5 km/l)

Other costs:

  • As predicted, car fixing costs this month! Actually it was more expensive than I expected, 360 euros for all the fixes there (excluding the new secondary battery, that was a present from my parents. Thanks!)

I’m leaving the US a bit later than planned, because of my maxed out credit card/not being able to pay Mexican deposit and insurance issues. But I should be able to easily make up for this time on the way to Mexico City where I have a new fixed deadline to meet Tessa and Egbert at the beginning of October.

Big thanks for hosting me, showing me around their towns and meeting up for drinks and food: Cedric, Mike, Jamie, Mark, Fabian, Michele, Roy and Edith

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I think fuel economy is better reported as L/100km than as km/L: after all, you want to drive a certain distance and have to pay the litres that takes. Moreover: suppose you go from 10 km/L to 12 km/L—that seems an improvement of 20% in efficiency. However, driving 100 km takes 10L or 8.33L: clearly an improvement of only 16.7%!

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