If you need a hint, this week’s theme is about road trips! I like to call it road-trippin! This week, show and tell us your favorite sights and highlights you’ve seen along the road this summer, this year, or from your archives.

“Road trips required a couple of things: a well-balanced diet of caffeine, salt and sugar and an excellent selection of tunes—oh, and directions.” – Jenn McKinlay

Well said, Jenn! As the primary navigator for our 6-state road trip, directions were necessary, as was finding the best prices for gasoline. I did my share of driving when we were not pulling our travel trailer. Most of our journeys were to places we’ve been before, but there were a number of new roads and places we discovered.

Our total journey was to visit 6 western states in 31 days.

We left our driveway at 7:00 am on June 20 and arrived south of Bend, Oregon the same afternoon. We experienced long stretches of driving during most of our travels, which resulted in about 10 hours on the road each time. That included rest-stops and fuel/food/dog-walk spots. Our Ford F-150 averages 8-10 miles per gallon when pulling the trailer, so we stop every 200 miles.

Gas prices in Oregon and Washington averaged about $5.50 per gallon. (Eye-roll).

June Itinerary

Our road trip was scheduled for departure from Washington on June 20th. Here is June’s itinerary.

  • June 20 Depart Nine Mile Falls, WA; arrive in SunRiver Oregon (10 hours)
  • June 21 (happy solstice), depart Oregon; arrive in Sacramento Delta, aka Rio Vista, California (10 hours).
  • June 21-26 Camp at delta campground.
  • June 27 Store RV, depart Delta; arrive in San Diego, California. (10 hours)
  • June 27-July 4 stay with my daughter in her home in San Diego.
  • July 5 depart San Diego and head to Prescott, Arizona (to be continued next week).

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

Burnt Forest on Hwy 97 north of Mt Shasta

We stayed overnight in our trailer camped in our nephew’s driveway, who lives in Sun River, Oregon. He was away fighting fires in Central California but we had a nice time with our niece and their kids. You can see the devastation left behind from last summer’s fires near Mt Shasta in Northern California in the above image.

Welcome Back to Northern California

We left Sun River at 7:30am the next day in a brisk 37F degrees, only to arrive 10 hours later in Rio Vista, California (gateway to Sacramento River Delta). We stopped for gas ($6.50/gallon) and a grocery stop before parking at the windsurf campground. The temperature was 107F.

“No road is long with good company.” – Turkish Proverb

Dry camping in day use area

A 70-degree gain in temperature did nothing for my health. Ironically, this day was also the summer solstice–the longest day of the year and hottest so far in Sacramento. Once we parked the trailer in the day-use area amidst the dirt and ant piles and started to unpack, I went into heat exhaustion. Nothing serious but the last time I experienced that kind of heat was July 2021. We managed to open the trailer, eat a cold meal and try to sleep in 90-degree evening temps with no electricity and no moving air. Our beloved campground was all but empty of windsurfers and friends–no wind!

No wind meant the water was calm for stand-up paddling! My daughter, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area called to surprise me with a visit! We went out paddling on the two inflatable SUPS I brought. It was sublime and a precious gift to see her — it had been a year!

calm delta water
Perfect for paddling

We camped here for a week and yes, the weather got much better and the wind returned! By Thursday, several folks came out for a long weekend with intentions to windsurf and wing on the water. We enjoyed seeing friends we hadn’t seen in over two years. In this pic, Hans is pointing the way back to our home, LOL!

Which way back to Washington?

We left the Sacramento area and we were also able to leave the trailer in storage for free until we returned for it on July 12th, to use it to camp in Reno, Nevada–more about that next week!

A Grief-Journey Trail Through California

What now, you ask? Although we planned this road trip and began making arrangements in late April, God had His own plans for us to be on the road during this time. Most of you already know about my younger daughter’s loss of her sweet dog, Gideon, shared here. A few days before we left for the trip, a dear friend who lives near Sacramento told me her mother, who had been ill and in special care for three years, was admitted to the ICU. She texted me again the day we left to say her mother had passed. Because of her own family drama, she arranged the graveside service to be on Saturday, June 25, while we were camping an hour’s drive away. Luckily I had packed an appropriate dress and was able to attend the services and reception and just be there for my bestie.

That same day was when my daughter called to tell us about the coyote attack on Gideon, who was peacefully put to sleep the next day. We arrived in San Diego on Monday as planned and I just sat with my daughter while she mourned and reminisced about her beloved pet. In this image, Gideon and Aero watch me closely as I paddled on the river in 2018.

Dogs alert for Danger
Gideon and Aero guarding me on the water.

Over the course of that week, we learned that Hans’ youngest son, who has two amazing young daughters (my grand-daughters!) is filing for divorce after five years of marriage. We were able to talk in-depth with him, to offer support and advice, when he came over to spend time with us–he also lives in San Diego.

It was fun to watch my daughter, pictured right (above) engage with her step-nieces. We all needed to re-connect with family during these times.

We felt that we had been given the gift of time when we could be with friends and family during these sad times. The road trip was so much better than frantically scheduling last-minute plane reservations!

Amidst San Diego’s drama, I connected with another San Diego blogger (more about that in 2 weeks), shopped for the grand-girlies, visited the new home of my brother and his family (they moved during the pandemic, too), and took a drive to La Jolla.

La Jolla Sea Lions

I also managed to enjoy some quiet mornings with my coffee. My daughter’s home overlooks Hwy 94 and the San Diego downtown skyline. Not seen in this image is the continued vista of Point Loma and the Coronado Bridge. Quite the view!

Morning coffee overlooking Hwy 94 San Diego
Stolen quiet moment

Traveling with Pets

“Dogs love to go for rides. A dog will happily get into any vehicle going anywhere.” ~Dave Barry

Have you taken your pets on any long road trips? If so, how did they do?

Aero resting in RV
Aero loves resting in the RV

In theory, taking our two dogs with us is much better than leaving them in a boarding kennel. Five days of that last summer, while we flew to San Diego and then Sedona, proved that point. Poor Brodie suffered from stress-induced colitis which resulted in bloody stool upon our return. I know, ick! We thought a road trip that included the dogs would alleviate the stress.

But despite stops in between long drives, staying in mostly familiar homes and the RV, both dogs ended up with problems. I called our veterinarian back home and he was unable to prescribe an anti-diarrheal over state lines. He suggested OTC Imodium based on weight, and that seemed to work for Brodie. Then when I started having issues, we decided it was from the constant heat we experienced throughout the trip. The worst of the heat was in Scottsdale, Arizona where we stayed a few days with my brother. How does 114F degrees sound? How about 95F degrees at 1:00am? Try walking your dogs in that heat and when the sidewalks and streets are busy frying eggs? More about the Arizona trip next week!

We wouldn’t change what we did to have our dogs with us but we will be more mindful of their diet. A bland diet of white rice and boiled chicken, and other mild-ingredient dog food will be the plan for next time before we are exposed to excessive heat. And have the Imodium at the ready.

Dog park trail
Brodie loved his walks in any weather

Please join me next week as I share our time in the Arizona and Nevada deserts, amidst friends, family, and a birthday celebration with my Dad.

Inspiring Photo Challenges

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Now that I am back home with full computer and internet capability, I can share your links again! Below are this week’s links from bloggers who share road trip photos this week. I edit these all week as new links are added.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.

Join me next week for the theme “Desert or Dessert?”, as I share more details and images from our road trip where we explored the desert areas of Arizona and Nevada.

Travel signature camera

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120 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: What a Long, Strange #RoadTrip It’s Been

  1. Wow, Terri, what a road trip you’ve had. So many happy and sad events with your family and friends and health issues for you and your dogs on top of everything else. I hope you’re feeling fine now and your dogs are well, too. Heat exhaustion is dangerous and not kind to our body at all. Thank you for hosting Sunday Stills and sharing your beautiful photos with us.
    Here’s my entry: https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2022/07/22/5-notable-lighthouses-in-newfoundland/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve had an eventful road trip. I know about a sadness detour, having to leave Washington state to attend services for a family member in Minneapolis before returning to the west coast to finish our trip. At least we didn’t have the pleasure of those high gas prices on our trip.
    I am looking forward to reading about your journey to Arizona next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun, interesting, and exhausting, John! We were blessed to be able to be there for friends and family going through difficult times! We really had a ball with the blogger meet-up in AZ, which I will share much more about in two weeks. We enjoyed Prescott and Scottsdale so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, there are always the pros and cons, right? But how wonderful that you could be there with your friend and daughter at their time of need. And I love the quote about mapping out your future in pencil. Who knew Jon was so philosophical??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was great times anyhow, Jodie, and you and Rob helped make it so memorable with our blogger lunch! Thanks for the photos (I will share about our blogger meet-up in two weeks). BTW, we came home to hot temps here too. Guess the heat followed us, but it is nice to be home! I need to catch up with some of your posts!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Graham, it all worked out for the best. Gas prices ranged from $4.50 in AZ to almost $7 in Truckee, CA! Prices have leveled off but still ridiculous. I doubt anyone could survive in that AZ heat. Everything there is well air-conditioned for many reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love seeing the pictures and hearing more about the first part of your trip. I love the picture of Aero in the RV. I guess I fell in love with him, didn’t I? Not that Brodie wasn’t adorable, but I love to pick them up! Can’t do that with Brodie, LOL. It was great that you could be there when your friends and daughter needed you the most. But going from 37 to 107 degrees would be a bit too much for anyone. And the time without AC!!! That’s super hard. Welcome to the 1950s and before. You got some great pictures, though. I love the picture of Hans and his friend in the pink sunset. I’ll connect back soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marsha! Seems our road trips like to tease us with extremes in weather–too hot this time, and cold and snowy in Sedona in winter 2019. Ah, life! Aero is a happy dog and does well with travel. Brodie too, but a little more sensitive. Talk soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not an easy job. Sometimes I’m tempted for a minute or two , but then I think about reading books whenever I want or getting up at 4:00 in the morning and going back to bed at 6:00, or taking off to got to Portland and Spokane in September. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We really had some great adventures, Janis, and I am so fortunate to be able to meet up with blogger/friends just about every stop. I intend to share more about the meetups in a couple of weeks. You and I had a great time talking about blogging, such fun!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. After moving 1000 miles in 2020, then into the actual house in ’21, the last thing I wanted was to pack up and drive somewhere, Dawn. It was great to travel in the trailer again and enjoy the road. For the first time, we really felt retired.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Terri, this was a mixed bag of ups and downs and unexpected events, but all in all it sounds like a quality life experience. Funny how God puts you in the right place at the right time. Road trips are good for the soul – always a teachable moment around any corner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How serendipitous that your road trip put you in the right places at the right time. My pit mix Molly traveled well in our truck and trailer. However out current schnoodle hates to travel. Unfortunately, he had to go across country with us. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he realized that we were home. Your photos are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow Terri, what a saga!!! On the positive side you had some woonderful time with family and friends despite some of the sadness. It was great you were able to bring them some comfort. Honestly, the heat sounds unbearable! Next time, different season girlfriend!! We too had a road trip last week but only a 10-hour drive each way and only 6 days including travel. I got to be with my entire family (bless my husband’s heart for tolerating all of us at once) – 26 of us (we rent our own condo and join them for fun times but not sleep!) I cannot fathom all of the driving you did, nor could I imagine doing it with pets but kudos for keeping your sanity!! Somehow I’m guessing you’re more than happy to be home!! Loved the newsy post ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Tina, for your kind and thoughtful words! We really needed this trip to be able to see everyone. Most of our families moved or adjusted their real estate, and three moved to Arizona! We wanted to drive the car last winter but too much snow in our own area. Plus this time Hans got to windsurf. Your road trips sounds perfect–I hear ya about staying in your own space! We were able to do that with the trailer, but where we couldn’t we had our own comfortable room. More about that wonderful hospitality next week! Oh yeah, very happy to be home, but we brought the heat back with us!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My goodness, Terri – what a dramatic trip, with so many sad things happening. Take some time to rest and recover now, especially after your heat stroke. I loved you photos. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, Terri, a road trip of life with all its ups and downs! Sorry about the grief journey but I’m glad you also experienced the joy of reuniting with friends and family. I love your photos as always, especially the one of Oreo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful journey you had Terri, interspersed with the grief unfortunately. You made the most of your hot weather, though I’m sure it took its toll on you. A fellow blogger also went on an extended road trip in their RV, pulling a Jeep. They began in Northern Michigan in September and went along the Gulf Coast, to the West Coast and were gone for almost ten months. They had two dogs and a cat along for the trip. I don’t have any pets, but I am sure, despite the illness, Aero and Brodie were glad they spent the time with you and not boarded in a kennel pining for you. Your photos are fun and beautiful – I loved the portly sea lions.


    1. Thank you so much, Linda! You see the positive in the trip which was there every moment! 10 months is a long time for a trip, but hopefully they stayed in places longer than a 6-7 days at a time. I agree my dogs just want to be next to us and I could never keep them in a boarding kennel for more than a weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The landscapes and time with family helped to smooth the edges of the grief-ridden part of your trip, so that is a good thing Terri.

        There were times this blogger and her husband stayed for more than a week and they also stayed with family on their respective properties once or twice during the 10 months. They booked their RV areas in advance, but a time or two had to make changes at the last moment when they were told they could only stay a few days and once had to leave as a wildfire was too close for comfort. They used a generator too which helped as they stayed in a few places with no electric hook-up so they were off the grid for more than a few days.

        They enjoyed it and will go again this Fall, maybe not as long. The dogs loved exploring. Sandra and her husband are nature lovers and enjoy photography. She made a lot of videos and took a lot of photos, which she’s still posting. Her husband made a lot of drone videos of where they visited. It was fascinating to read where they went.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry to hear about the losses encountered on your trip and the challenges. Assuming you weren’t dry camping (no hook up?) on purpose? Those temperatures are crazy. We see that California once again is a fireball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bernie. We had to dry camp on purpose at the delta, so that was quite the challenge. Thankfully the wind came up and cooled things down. The rest of the trip was spent in family homes, and the Reno RV park had full hook ups and the AC worked perfectly. We’re happy so far that Washington has had very few wildfires so far….keeping fingers crossed 🤞


    1. 3080 kms on the “wrong” side of the road! England, Scotland and Wales. Blogged extensively from this trip. Can’t wait to go back again. The roadways are a fun challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great photos, Terri! Looks like you enjoyed your trip to Cali. I am glad you were able to spend some time with your family. I know how it is to have them all spread out; visits are always nice for reconnecting face to face.
    I hope you don’t fry too much in AZ…at least it is a bit cooler with the monsoons, although you will have to watch out for those (I’m sure you know that). I bet you get some great shots while you’re there; I didn’t like living in the desert but loved photographing the storms.
    Here’s mine for this week: https://peacefulatdawn.com/2022/07/25/hiking-challenge-weeks-1-through-5/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, yes—SoCal traffic in general is a pain and gotta love our prices on everything. Our beaches make up for it. 😊😎 They’re having monsoons this week, it looks like. Storming in our mountains here too.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful pics Terri. Sounds like a great road trip filled with both joy and sorrow. So many terrible things happening to people it seems the way of this sometimes cruel world. Ironically, here in my city of Toronto, we’ve had warnings of cayotes attacking dogs too, especially where there are walking trails. What on earth is going on! 😦 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 5 years doesn’t seem very long before giving up on a marriage, Terri. Sad for the little ones. Life is difficult sometimes and we all respond in different ways. Glad you could spend the time with your family. I hate being away from ours. Thanks for the link up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both my hubby and I experienced divorces in our mid-30s. That is the age of my step-son and we are so devastated that his wife is not willing to work it out. Thankfully, we have our family here in Spokane area (hubby’s brothers and in-laws), which is why we moved here. My side of the family is a little scattered in San Diego and Arizona. Thanks, Jo!


  15. Quite the trip, Terri! I’m sorry about all your losses. This year is a weird one, as I hear and encounter problem after problem within the family’s of friends and family members – burn-outs, illnesses, deaths, divorces. And crazy heat, even here in Belgium. Very unusual. Add to that flight and public transportation delays and technical issues during live performances, and things are not going the way they should. Because of all this, I’ve had migraines for days as well. Let’s hope for a better August! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite some of the picture I painted, we did have a wonderful time, and we were fortunate to be near family members in need, My daughter is still mourning Gideon after a month (she called yesterday crying). That sweet dog was her heart. Yes, I agree that it has been a strange year as you list. Happening everywhere. I’m so sorry about your migraines, and hope you can get some relief!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Such a lot going on in this post, Terri. What an eventful trip.

    Such a shame about the excessive heat, especially during the nighttime. I know exactly how you all felt, especially the dogs, having just come through a very short heatwave. Our dogs were very stressed out by it all. It only lasted two days, so your prolonged heat waves are much worse. I’m happy your vet could help while you were away. But walking the dogs at 1 am when the temps are still in the 90s must have been a big challenge. I’m pleased to say we’re back to temps in the upper 60s/low 70s again; roll on the Autumn. It can’t come quick enough for me.

    So sorry to hear the news from Hans’s youngest son, but good that you all got together to support him. It looks like you were catching up with lots of family and friends. I look forward to hearing more, especially the meetings with other bloggers.

    And when I saw that you visited La Jolla, it took me right back to the road trip we did in 2010, which included a few nights in La Jolla (one of my favourite places).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This trip was so eventful, I could only tell half the story, so the saga continues next week, LOL, and a post about blogger meetups later too. Family drama wherever we go, I guess, Hugh. Now we are having an excessive heat warning (temps into 100-105 by end of this week), quite unusual for Northeast Washington, but not unheard of. The entire country is sweltering in heat. A lot of folks don’t have air conditioning, as I imagine you all don’t either–usually not needed. I’m with you for a short summer and prolonged autumn. It will be here before we know it!


      1. House builders still believe that air-con is unnecessary in the UK, Terri. I’m pleased that the next two weeks look like what I call good summer weather, with temperatures no higher than the mid-70s. I don’t envy the excessive heat warning you have coming. It is always the nighttime temperatures I also dislike when they are more than 70f. I can’t sleep with temps like that.
        I’m sure you’ve plenty of high-factor suncream and water at the ready.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, I suppose it makes sense in the UK not to have AC, Hugh. Yes, we have an excessive heat warning, but after this the weather should get to more normal summer temps. The cool nights are key to keeping the houses cool all day. Many households in our area don’t have AC either. This ex-Cali girl knows better, LOL! Enjoy your cool summer weather and bottle up some and send our way 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Sounds like an awesome trip even with the heat. Cooper is not a great traveler (miserable in the truck) but he loves hanging in the camper and collecting his new smell mail everywhere. We’ve had to see vets in various states and always carry his records with me. And we learned the hard way about prescriptions across state lines being a roadblock to getting them care. Fortunately, no heat issue for him…just me. Nothing worse than 90+ degrees inside the camper at 10pm at night. Look forward to more of the trip story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We did find that at the KOA in Reno, with full hookups, our trailer’s AC worked beautifully! We had never used it before so thank goodness. Poor Cooper–our dogs love the truck. They all are happy in the end, right?


  18. Sounds like quite a fraught trip! At least you got to see much loved relatives and you had your fur boys with you. I should link up our road trip as we have just returned from one. Lovely to do something nice with your daughter 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A lot sure happened during your road trip, but it’s a relief to hear you could spend time with your loved ones and managed to get through the sad and troublesome moments. On a happier note, I love the matching pose of Gideon and Aero! I wish I can go on a road trip in America one day. Such diverse landscapes, although I’ll most likely travel by public bus or go with bus tours. Still, I’m sure I can get to enjoy the views along the road regardless of how I travel!

    Liked by 1 person

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