Van Trip: Bend, Portland then the race to cleaner air.
3 min read

Van Trip: Bend, Portland then the race to cleaner air.

Van Trip: Bend, Portland then the race to cleaner air.

We stopped in Bend to see what all the rage was about. Friends of all ages have kept telling us that the place is awesome so we went out of our way to go verify. It was 98 degrees and the smoke in the air made it feel like we were in a martian sand storm. We stopped to check out the Deschutes River that runs through town and it was busy with college kids?

I actually didn't take any pictures of Bend except this one of a pot farm just out side of town. The surrounding land felt like a tinder box only needing the Santa Anna billows to smelt the city.


We moved on to a guest house in Portland to stay the week. While it started out easterly winds pushed the fires toward us and the resulting smoke made it unhealthy to do anything outside.

Every morning we'd look at the map and try to go to where the air was the cleanest. By Friday the smoke covered the entire coast.

A day trip to Tillamook were we mostly stayed in the van because of the bad air.
Purple Air map for the Friday we drove to Seattle. Orange is unhealthy. Purple is Toxic.

Then we were off to Seattle to see family despite the air forecast being dismal. While we'd hoped to go camping in Olympia park we ended up staying in a Marriott hotel that had separate air filtration units for each room. With COVID on the inside and smoke all around us we all started getting irritable and decided we couldn't stay anywhere that would prevent us from going outside.

Tacoma was no smokey. It's following us.

On Monday we just headed East as fast as possible with a two year old. 12 hours late we were in Missoula, MT. I wish we could have stayed longer because this university town had a river and bike paths flowing down the middle. We're going to come back here.

Next up, Bozeman, MT and my dad came up to visit us. The air was still too smokey to do anything outside so we went to the Rocky Mountain museum to see all the dinosaurs that have been discovered in Montana.

After two days we kept moving east driving late into the night and sleeping in rest areas and camp grounds until we finally reached Minneapolis, MN and clean air.

Somewhere in North Dakota getting some exercise.
Finally the air is reasonably good in Minneapolis.

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