April 23-Happy 2nd Year Anniversary On-The-Road!!!  We are still loving the traveling lifestyle. We have found that staying in one location for a week or two allows us to relax, as well as to more thoroughly explore each new location.  Now if our rig wouldn't mind not breaking down, everything would be perfect.
     After spending so much time in Death Valley we did not allow ourselves much time to get up to Seattle to prepare for a visit to Connecticut.  So we were stuck traveling on RT 5, the major interstate that runs through California, Oregon and Washington.  RT 5 is not the most exciting road, but we found some great things to do along the way.
The Space Needle in Seattle, WA
near the end of our RT 5 journey.
     Our 1st stop was Bakersfield, CA where found a beautiful campground and became reacquainted with green grass, an item which had been noticeably absent from our travels for months.  Based on the advice of our friends, Dee Dee & Tony Sparks, we took a day trip to the cute tourist town of Kernville, CA.  To get there we traveled along the beautiful Kern River Gorge where Nancy found piles huge rocks to play with.
Kern River Rocks, Kernville, CA
     Our next stop in Fresno, CA revealed a truly unique gem--Forestiere Underground Gardens.  The place was constructed by an Italian citrus farmer who immigrated to the USA and ended up living Fresno.  In order to keep things cool he decided to dig; building 180 rooms under several acres of Fresno "hardpan."  This guy couldn't stop digging, except to grow citrus trees below openings in his subsurface caverns.
One of the Forestiere caverns.  Notice the base of the citrus tree in the background.
Mr. Forestiere managed to graft as many as 7 different varieties of citrus fruits
onto single trunks of the citrus trees which survived in his tunnels.
A Forestiere subsurface bedroom.
     Fresno was the perfect location for a day trip to Yosemite National Park--one of the "crown jewels" of our national park system.  We were fortunate to visit the park during the spring when its towering waterfalls were gushing.  This park is so fantastic that 1 day doesn't come near to doing it justice, so we look forward to returning when we can spend a couple of weeks.
Yosemite Valley
Upper Yosemite Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
          Redding, CA was a stop further up RT 5 which turned out to be delightful.  We camped directly on the Sacramento River and on the 40 mile Sacramento River Bike Trail.  Redding is at the foot of the Cascade Mountains and Mount Shasta.  The area is full of wilderness opportunities featuring lakes, rivers and mountains.  One day I took a lengthy bike ride to the top of Lake Shasta Dam up the Sacramento River Gorge.  My biking partner for several minutes of the ride was a bald eagle which seemed to be soaring along with me and, at the dam, there was an osprey nest with 2 adults munching on their catch.
Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA.
Sacramento River Bike Trail.
Mount Shasta 
Mount Shasta
          We next ventured into Oregon to the Holiday Rambler factory service center to have the rig prepared for our Alaska adventure.  First, we stopped to visit the Giant Cats of the World Park in Cave City Junction, OR.  This refuge had hundreds of "big" cats, many on view during a guided tour of the facility.  If you like kitties, this is the place for you.  Viewing these large, powerful creatures is truly awesome.

          Next we headed to the Olejnik part of our country.  We had a great stop in Portland, OR where we had a couple of days to visit and tour with our nieces Heidi and Alexx Delta (formerly Heather Olejnik).  We even were treated to some gourmet fixins at the home of Heidi and Justin.
Alexx Delta, Moose & Heidi in Portland, OR.
     While in the Portland area we were able to reconnect with our friends Kathy and Dave Scranton. We spent 2 fun filled days with these wonderful people and even had time for some very happy "happy hours."  We also got in a side trip to Mount Saint Helens.  Although the road to the volcano was not fully open and the day was a little dreary, we enjoyed the beautiful ride and the volcano decided to grace us with a full view of its peaks while we ate our lunch.
Mount Saint Helens, WA
    Our last stop was to the home of Donna (Nancy's sister) & Ken Olejnik in University Place, WA on the Puget Sound.  (University Place was the home of the 2015 US Open Golf Tournament.)  One of the outstanding features of the Puget Sound area is that every direction holds fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker or Mount Rainier.  Donna is a whirlwind of energy so our days were full of fun and exciting stuff.  We visited the Seattle city center with its museums, the Space Needle and waterfront markets.  Pike's Market was full of shops with lots of fresh food vendors and flower vendors.  We even witnessed fish-throwing at the famous fish vendor inside of Pike's Market. We also toured the eastern shoreline of the Olympic Peninsula up to the beautiful town of Port Townsend.
Donna's house in University Place, WA.
With FREE water, electric, showers, laundry, RV storage, and a
professional driver & tour guide, this is the ultimate boondocker's paradise.
The Space Needle, Seattle, WA
Fish tossing at Pike's Market.
Mount Rainier
     Our favorite museum was the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum in the center of Seattle. This museum is based around modern music and pop culture.  While we were there they had a Jimi Hendrix exhibit; a Punk Rock exhibit; and an exhibit featuring guitars used by famous rock, country and blues artists.
An Eric Clapton guitar.
EMP Museum.
EMP Museum.
A Jimi Hendrix guitar.
EMP Museum.
     The highlights of EMP were the exhibits dedicated to horror movies, science fiction movies, and fantasy movies.  They even had an exhibit dedicated to the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory. Unfortunately, the headline exhibit was Hello Kitty.  However, in late May its goodbye to Hello Kitty and hello to a Star Trek as the headline exhibit.  Too bad we will miss that one.
The entrance to the EMP Museum.
"Alien" in the EMP Museum.
Luke's light saber in the EMP Museum.
     As I write this I am in Bryce's apartment in Milford, CT.  We plan on visiting family and friends before returning to Seattle to collect our rig.
The view of the Cascade Mountains from Nancy's seat on our way to CT.
(Nancy refuses to allow me have ever get the window seat-just sayin'!)
And then it is NORTH TO ALASKA!!!
Sacramento, CA

     Open the link below to view the maps of all our 2016 travels prior to entering into Canada on our way to Alaska: